Obama Signs Health Care-Heavy Appropriations Bill

By Staff Report

Mar. 12, 2009

President Barack Obama has signed a $410 billion appropriations bill, a sizable chunk of which goes to a number of health care initiatives. The measure cleared the Senate on Tuesday, March 10.

The package, which funds a total of nine federal agencies, allots $30.3 billion to the National Institutes of Health for disease research, $6.6 billion for public health programs under the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and $125 million more for community health centers.

The legislation, which came under attack for the number of earmarks it contained, also sets out spending for a variety of workforce training programs, rural health outposts and programs to help seniors.

The bill adds $15 million more than was available last year for nurse education and training, for a total of $171 million, and adds another $28 million to train doctors and other health care professionals, for a total of $222 million.

Rural health providers will also see a financial bump.

The measure provides a total of $289 million to help aid the more than 1,200 small, rural hospitals serving more than 775,000 patients each year. The House passed the bill in February.

Filed by Matthew DoBias of Modern Healthcare, a sister publication of Workforce Management. To comment, e-mail

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