President Bush delivered his $3.1 trillion FY2009 budget to Congress on February 4. His proposal would balance the federal budget by 2012. In order to accomplish this goal, overall discretionary spending would be held to an increase of less than one percent in FY2009 and for the four-year period thereafter. Security spending, both at home and abroad, would increase by 8.2 percent in FY2009; defense spending would increase by 7.5 percent. International affairs spending also would increase by 14.9 percent to, among other goals, “support key allies in the Global War on Terror and improve [our] response to international crises, to promote democracy throughout the world, to expand education for the world’s poorest children, and to combat global HIV/AIDS and malaria.”
In addition, the administration proposes the elimination of 151 federal programs resulting in a savings of $18 billion. The budget also calls upon Congress to make the 2001 and 2003 tax cuts permanent and proposes $603 billion in mandatory savings from reforms to Medicaid and Medicare over the next 10 years.
The following summarizes President Bush’s budget proposal for a number of programs important to women and their families. Comparisons to last year’s funding levels reflect allocations provided by Congress in the FY2008 appropriations bills (see The Source, 12/20/07).
Department of Agriculture
Child Nutrition Programs: The president’s budget would provide $15.38 billion in FY2009 for child nutrition programs, $1.478 billion more than FY2008. Child nutrition programs include the National School Lunch Program, the School Breakfast Program, the Child and Adult Care Food Program, the Summer Food Service, and the Special Milk Program.
Food Stamp Program: The Food Stamp program would receive $40.279 billion in FY2009, $496 million more than FY2008.
McGovern-Dole International Food for Education and Child Nutrition Program: Under the administration’s budget, the McGovern-Dole International Food for Education and Child Nutrition Program would receive $108 million in FY2009, a $8.7 million increase over FY2008. The program “provides for the donation of U.S. agricultural commodities and associated financial and technical assistance to carry out preschool and school feeding programs in foreign countries. Maternal, infant, and child nutrition programs also are authorized under the program. Its purpose is to reduce the incidence of hunger and malnutrition and improve literacy and primary education. These measures contribute to a healthy, literate workforce that can support a more prosperous, sustainable economy and ensure long-term food security.”
Obesity: The president’s budget would provide $12.2 million in FY2009 for the Agricultural Research Service “to undertake health and obesity prevention research to address the efficacy of the healthful eating and physical activity patterns set forth in the Dietary Guidelines in preventing obesity in the U.S. population. The research will focus on preventing obesity in children and understanding the dietary patterns that contribute to obesity in low socioeconomic and minority populations.”
Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC): The WIC program would receive $6.251 billion for FY2009, $231 million more than FY2008.
Department of Education
21st Century Community Learning Centers: The administration’s budget would provide $800 million in FY2009 for 21st Century Community Learning Centers, $281.166 million less than FY2008.
Child Care Access Means Parents in School (CCAMPIS) Program: Under the FY2009 budget request, the CCAMPIS program would receive $15.534 million, the same as was appropriated in FY2008. The program provides grants to institutions of higher education to supplement child care services or to start a new child care program in order to assist low-income students who are parents.
Civil Rights Enforcement: The Department of Education’s Office for Civil Rights would receive $101.04 million in FY2009, an increase of $11.428 million over FY2008.
Education for Homeless Children and Youth: The Education for Homeless Children and Youth program would be funded at $64.067 million in FY2009, the same as in FY2008.
Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA): The administration’s budget would provide $14.305 billion in FY2009 for Title I grants to local educational agencies under the No Child Left Behind Act (P.L. 107-110), an increase of $277 million over FY2008.
The president’s budget request includes a new program, Pell Grants for Kids. The program would receive $300 million for FY2009 to “support competitive grants to states, municipalities, local educational agencies (LEAs), and public or private nonprofit organizations for scholarships to enable low-income students in grades K-12 enrolled in persistently low-performing schools to attend a private or out-of-district public school.”
Even Start: The William F. Goodling Even Start Family Literacy Program would be eliminated under the president’s FY2009 budget request. The Even Start program received $66.454 million in FY2008.
Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA): Under the budget request, $11.285 billion would be allocated to grants for states for IDEA in FY2009, $337 million more than FY2008. In addition, $374 million would be provided for preschool grants and $436 million for grants for infants and families.
Minority Science and Engineering Improvement: As appropriated in FY2008, the administration’s budget would fund the Minority Science and Engineering Improvement program at $8.577 million in FY2009.
Pell Grants: The budget request would provide $16.851 billion for the Pell Grant program in FY2009, an increase of $2.636 billion over FY2008. The president proposes a maximum Pell Grant award of $4,800, including a $490 mandatory add-on, $69 more than the maximum award in FY2008.
Reading First: The Reading First and Early Reading First literacy programs would receive $1.113 billion in FY2009, a $606.988 million increase over FY2008.
Vocational Education: The president’s budget would eliminate funding for career and technical education in FY2009. In FY2008, career and technical education programs received $1.272 billion. The budget would provide $574.59 million for adult education, an increase of $7.122 million over FY2008.
Women’s Educational Equity Act (WEEA): The president proposes to eliminate funding for the Women’s Educational Equity Act in FY2009; the program received $2 million in FY2008.
Department of Health and Human Services
Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ)
The FY2009 budget would provide $325.664 million for AHRQ, $8.9 million below FY2008.
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)
Under the administration’s budget, the CDC would receive $5.676 billion in FY2009, $374 million less than FY2008.
Birth Defects, Developmental Disabilities, Disability and Health: CDC programs to research birth defects would receive level funding of $127 million in FY2009.
Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion: The administration’s budget would provide level funding of $805 million for chronic disease prevention and health promotion in FY2009, $29 million below FY2008.
HIV/AIDS: CDC global health programs would receive $302.025 million in FY2009, $68.735 million below FY2008.
Centers for Medicare and Medicaid
Medicaid: The president’s budget also includes a proposal to align Medicaid match rates for family planning services with a state’s regular medical assistance match rate. Currently, the federal match rate for family planning services is 90 percent. Match rates for other services vary by state and range from a low of 50 percent to a high of 75.84 percent.
State Children’s Health Insurance Program (SCHIP): The administration’s budget would provide $5.315 billion for SCHIP in FY2009. The president proposes an additional $1.5 billion for SCHIP under his reauthorization proposal, which would provide “funding to cover eligible, uninsured children at or below 200 percent of the federal poverty level.” SCHIP’s current authorization expires March 31, 2009 (see The Source, 12/19/07).
Food and Drug Administration (FDA)
Under the administration’s budget, the FDA would receive $1.774 billion in FY2009, $57 million more than FY2008.
FDA User Fees: The FY2009 budget would provide $19.318 million in mammography user fees, $920,000 more than FY2008. According to budget documents, the “Mammography Quality Standards Act (MQSA), which Congress reauthorized in October 2004 [P.L. 108-365], addresses the public health need for safe and reliable mammography.”
Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA)
HRSA would receive $5.765 billion in FY2009, $1.08 billion less than FY2008.
Community Health Centers: Community health centers would receive $2.048 billion in FY2009, $17 million less than FY2008.
Family Planning: Title X, the nation’s family planning program, would receive $300 million in FY2009, $109,000 more than FY2008. Budget documents state that “amounts provided to said projects under such title shall not be expended for abortions, that all pregnancy counseling shall be nondirective, and that such amounts shall not be expended for any activity (including the publication or distribution of literature) that in any way tends to promote public support [for], or opposition to, any legislative proposal or candidate for public office.”
The budget also states, “None of the funds appropriated in this act may be made available to any entity under title X of the Public Health Service Act unless the applicant for the award certifies to the secretary [of Health and Human Services] that it encourages family participation in the decision of minors to seek family planning services and that it provides counseling to minors on how to resist attempts to coerce minors into engaging in sexual activities…Notwithstanding any other provision of law, no provider of services under title X of the Public Health Service Act shall be exempt from any state law requiring notification or the reporting of child abuse, child molestation, sexual abuse, rape, or incest.”
Healthy Start: In FY2009, Healthy Start would receive $100 million, $256,000 below FY2008. Healthy Start “provides services tailored to the needs of high-risk pregnant women, infants, and mothers in communities with exceptionally high rates of infant mortality.”
Maternal and Child Health Block Grant (MCHBG): The MCHBG would receive $666 million in FY2009, $155,000 less than FY2008.
National Cord Blood Stem Cell Bank: The cord blood bank would receive $12 million in FY2009, $3.157 million more than FY2008.
Ryan White: The Ryan White Comprehensive AIDS Resources Emergency (CARE) Act program and grants would be funded at $2.143 billion in FY2009, $1 million above FY2008.
Universal Newborn Hearing Screening Program: The president’s budget would eliminate funding for this program; in 2008, it received $11.79 million.
Indian Health Services (IHS)
IHS programs would receive level funding of $3.122 billion in FY2009.
National Institutes of Health (NIH)
NIH would receive $29.479 billion in FY2009, $25 million more than FY2008.
Minority Health: The National Center for Minority Health & Health Disparities would receive level funding of $200 million in FY2009.
HIV/AIDS: The FY2009 budget directs $300 million from the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases to the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria.
Administration on Aging (AoA)
The budget would fund the AoA at $1.381 billion in FY2009, $32 million less than FY2008.
National Family Caregiver Support Program: The National Family Caregiver Support Program would receive $153 million in FY2009, $439,000 less than FY2008.
Administration for Children and Families (ACF)
The Administration for Children and Families would receive $45.561 billion in FY2008, $1.8 billion less than FY2008.
Child Care and Development Block Grant (CCDBG): The CCDBG would receive level funding of $2.062 billion in FY2009.
Child Support Enforcement: The FY2009 budget would provide $3.759 billion for child support enforcement in FY2009, $191 million above FY2008. The president’s budget also includes $7 million for a new program “that will make technical changes to ensure that all child support enforcement services are available in international child support cases. Additionally, this request includes several proposals from the president’s previous budgets aimed at increasing child support collections, improving states’ efforts to collect medical support on behalf of children, increasing resources to support and facilitate non-custodial parents’ access to, and visitation of, their children, providing tribal child support programs with access to the same waivers and enforcement tools that states have, and increasing the annual spending limit on the repatriation program.”
Healthy Marriages and Responsible Fatherhood: Programs to support marriage and fatherhood would receive level funding of $150 million in FY2009. Funds for these programs are drawn from the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families account.
Promoting Safe and Stable Families: The program would receive $428 million in FY2009, $19.689 million more than FY2008.
Refugee and Entrant Assistance: President Bush proposes $628.044 million for refugee and entrant assistance programs in FY2009, $28 million below FY2008. Included in that amount is level funding of $9.814 million for programs to aid victims of international trafficking. Also included is $128 million to assist minors entering the country without a parent or guardian, $4.6 million less than FY2008.
Social Services Block Grant (SSBG): The administration’s FY2009 budget would fund the SSBG at $1.2 billion, $500 million below FY2008.
ACF Child and Family Services Programs
Abandoned Infants Assistance: Programs for abandoned infant assistance would be level-funded at $12 million in FY2009.
Abstinence Education: Abstinence education programs would receive $137 million in FY2009, $28.1 million more than FY2008. The president’s budget includes a legislative proposal of $50 million for “an extension of the Title V abstinence education program, which provides grants to states to implement abstinence-only education programs.”
Adoption: The budget would provide $26 million in FY2009 for adoption opportunities, $379,000 less than FY2008 and the administration’s request. The Adoption Incentives program would receive $20 million, $15.677 million above FY2008.
Child Abuse and Neglect Treatment/Prevention Activities: Abuse and neglect prevention programs would receive $105 million in FY2009, $9.641 million above FY2008.
Child Welfare Programs: Under the administration’s budget, child welfare service and training programs would receive $289 million in FY2009, $49,000 less than FY2008.
Head Start: Under the administration’s budget, Head Start would receive $7.027 billion in FY2009, $125 million above FY2008.
Mentoring Children of Prisoners: Under the administration’s budget, the Mentoring Children of Prisoners program would receive $50 million in FY2009, $1.372 million above FY2008.
Runaway and Homeless Youth Programs: The administration’s budget would provide $53 million for consolidated runaway and homeless centers in FY2009. In 2008, consolidated programs to aid runaway and homeless youth received $96.128 million. Educational grants for programs to reduce the sexual abuse of runaway youth would receive level funding of $17 million in FY2009.
Violence Against Women Act (VAWA): The Family Violence Prevention and Services Act (FVPSA) (P.L. 98-457) would receive $123 million in FY2009, $448,000 above FY2008. The FVPSA awards grants to public and private entities to promote domestic violence intervention and prevention activities, including shelter services for victims. The administration’s budget would provide level funding of $3 million for the National Domestic Violence Hotline in FY2008.
Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA)
SAMHSA would receive $3.025 billion in FY2009, $209 million less than FY2008. Included in that amount is $114 million for children’s mental health services, $11.74 million above FY2008.
Office of the Secretary
Adolescent Family Life: The FY2009 budget would fund the Office of Population Affairs/Adolescent Family Life at $30.307 million, $529,000 more than FY2008.
Afghanistan: In FY2009, the Office of the Global Health Affairs would receive $6 million “to continue support of HHS health care initiatives in Afghanistan, particularly in the areas improving the quality of maternal and neo-natal health care for Afghan mothers and their babies.”
Minority HIV/AIDS: The FY2009 budget would provide $51.891 million, $907,000 above FY2008.
Public Health Service’s Office of Minority Health: The Office of Minority Health would receive $42.686 million in FY2009, $6.052 million below FY2008.
Public Health Service’s Office on Women’s Health: Under the administration’s budget, the Office on Women’s Health would receive $28.458 million in FY2009, $2.575 million less than FY2008.
Department of Housing and Urban Development
Homeless Housing: Homeless assistance grants would receive $1.636 billion in FY2009, $50 million more than FY2008.
Housing Opportunities for Persons with AIDS (HOPWA): The HOPWA program would receive $300.1 million in FY2009, the same as was appropriated in FY2008. The program provides states and localities with resources and incentives to devise long-term comprehensive strategies for meeting the housing needs of persons with HIV/AIDS and their families.
Department of Justice
DNA Initiative: Under the administration’s budget, this initiative would be included in state and local law enforcement assistance (see below). The initiative was funded at $152.272 million in FY2008.
Juvenile Justice Programs: The FY2009 budget would provide $185 million for Juvenile Justice Programs. According to budget documents, “This appropriation account includes programs that support state, local, and tribal community efforts to develop and implement effective, coordinated prevention and intervention juvenile programs. Such programs are designed to reduce juvenile delinquency and crime; protect children from sexual exploitation; and improve the juvenile justice system so that it protects public safety, holds offenders accountable, and provides treatment and rehabilitative services tailored to the needs of juveniles and their families.”
Included in that amount is $164 million for the Child Safety and Juvenile Justice Program. Budget documents state, “For FY2009, funding [from the Juvenile Justice Program] will support the Child Safety and Juvenile Justice Program, which consolidates existing juvenile justice and exploited children programs, such as the Internet Crimes Against Children, into a single, flexible grant program. Through a competitive discretionary grant process, OJP [Office of Justice Programs] will assist state and local governments in addressing multiple child safety and juvenile justice needs to reduce incidents of child exploitation and abuse, including those facilitated by the use of computers and the Internet, improve juvenile justice outcomes, and address school safety needs.”
Missing Children’s Program: The FY2009 budget proposes to consolidate the Missing Children’s Program and AMBER Alert program into one grant program the Child Safety and Juvenile Justice Program (see above). In FY2008, the Missing Children Program and AMBER Alert programs received $50 million and $9 million respectively.
Office on Violence Against Women: The administration’s budget would provide $280 million for the office in FY2009, $120 million below FY2006.
Prevention and Prosecution Programs (VAWA): According to budget documents, “Funding will support the Prevention and Prosecution of Violence Against Women and Related Victim Services Program. This appropriation account supports a new consolidated, competitive grant program, including contracts, cooperative agreements, and other assistance to support state, local, tribal, and community efforts to develop and implement effective, coordinated prevention and prosecution of domestic violence, dating violence, sexual assault and stalking, and support related victims services. Such awards are designed to forge state, local, and tribal partnerships among police, prosecutors, the judiciary, victim advocates, health care providers, faith leaders, and others, in order to help provide victims with the protection and services they need to pursue safe and healthy lives, while simultaneously enabling communities to hold offenders accountable.”
As in prior years, budget documents state, “None of the funds appropriated by this title shall be available to pay for an abortion, except where the life of the mother would be endangered if the fetus were carried to term, or in the case of rape… None of the funds appropriated under this title shall be used to require any person to perform, or facilitate in any way the performance of, any abortion.”
The budget also states, “Nothing in the preceding section shall remove the obligation of the director of the Bureau of Prisons to provide escort services necessary for a female inmate to receive such service outside the federal facility.”
Prison Rape: The FY2009 budget would include this program in state and local law enforcement assistance funding (see above). In 2006, it received $20 million.
State and Local Law Enforcement Assistance: The FY2009 budget proposes that “[m]ore than 70 state and local law enforcement assistance programs representing over $2 billion in spending are proposed for consolidation into four flexible and competitive grants. This will eliminate earmarks and formulas and improve the ability of states, localities, and tribes to respond to increases in violent crime by better targeting funds to key criminal justice priorities.” The program received $908.136 million in FY2008.
The FY2009 budget includes $200 million for the Violent Crime Reduction Partnership and $200 million for the Edward Byrne Public Safety and Protection Program. According to budget documents, funding for the Violent Crime Reduction Partnership will “support communities affected by high rates of violent crime to address this problem by forming effective multi-jurisdictional law enforcement partnerships between federal, state, and local law enforcement agencies.” The Byrne program “consolidates the most successful OJP [Office of Justice Programs] law enforcement assistance programs into a single, flexible grant that allows state, local, and tribal governments to develop programs appropriate to the particular needs of their jurisdictions.”
Programs authorized by the Mentally Ill Offender Act (P.L. 108-414) also would be included under this heading. In 2008, these programs received $7 million.
Trafficking: The FY2009 budget would include this program in state and local law enforcement assistance funding (see above). In 2008, it received $16 million.
Department of Labor
Career Advancement Accounts: The president proposes $2.826 billion in FY2009 to merge several programs under the Workforce Investment Act (P.L. 105-220) into a reformed program called Career Advancement Accounts (CAA). States would receive CAA block grants to provide individuals with up to two years of job training assistance.
Civil Rights Enforcement: The budget request would provide $7.038 million for the Office of Civil Rights Enforcement in FY2009, $706,000 over FY2008.
Dislocated Worker’s Assistance: Under the budget request, Dislocated Worker’s Assistance would receive $1.224 billion in FY2009, $222 million less than FY2008.
International Labor Affairs: The Bureau of International Labor Affairs (ILAB) would receive $14.822 million in FY2009, $66.252 million less than FY2008.
Ex-Offenders Activities: The budget request merged the Prisoner Re-entry Initiative, Responsible Reintegration of Youthful Offenders, and Reintegration of Ex-Offenders programs into a single program that would “provide mentoring and job training to promote the successful return of adult and juvenile ex-offenders into mainstream society.” Under the administration’s budget, Ex-Offender activities would receive $39.6 million in FY2009, $33.893 million less than FY2008.
Women’s Bureau: President Bush’s budget would provide $10.237 million for the Women’s Bureau in FY2009, $577,000 over FY2008.
Department of State
HIV/AIDS: According to budget summaries, $6 billion would be provided for the President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR) in FY2009. Of that amount, $4.779 billion would be provided for the Global HIV/AIDS Initiative (GHAI), an increase of $79 million over 2008.
The president proposed level funding of $550 million for the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria in FY2009. According to budget documents, “the 2009 request includes $300 million within the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases account and $200 million within the Global HIV/AIDS Initiative account for the Global Fund.”
Trafficking in Persons: The FY2009 budget request would provide $7.183 million under the Economic Support Fund to combat trafficking in persons, $4.72 million less than requested in FY2008. An additional $7.767 million would be available under the International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Fund (INLEF), $1.816 million more than requested in FY2008. Funding under INLEF is “necessary to assist committed governments of countries on the Tiers 3 and 2 Watch list of the 2008 Trafficking in Persons Report to improve their capacity to combat trafficking in persons through rule of law and criminal justice sector improvements.”
United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF): Under the administration’s FY2009 budget, the United States contribution to UNICEF would be $124.5 million, $4.5 million below FY2008.
United Nations Development Fund for Women (UNIFEM): In FY2009, the United States would contribute $950,000 to UNIFEM, $2.2 million less than FY2008.
United States Agency for International Development (USAID)
Child Survival and Health Programs Fund: Under the budget, $1.578 billion would be provided for the Child Survival and Health Programs Fund in FY2009, $136 million less than FY2008.
According to budget documents, “this amount may be made available for such activities as: (1) immunization programs; (2) oral rehydration programs; (3) health, nutrition, water and sanitation programs [that] directly address the needs of mothers and children, and related education programs; (4) assistance for children displaced or orphaned by causes other than AIDS; (5) programs for the prevention, treatment, control of, and research on HIV/AIDS, tuberculosis, polio, malaria, and other infectious diseases, and for assistance to communities severely affected by HIV/AIDS, including children displaced or orphaned by AIDS; and (6) family planning/reproductive health: provided further, that funds appropriated under this heading, in addition to funds otherwise available for such purposes, may be used to monitor and provide oversight of child survival, maternal and family planning/reproductive health, and infectious disease programs.”
Child Survival and Maternal Health Programs (CSMH): CSMH programs would receive $369.5 million in FY2009, $80.65 million below FY2008.
HIV/AIDS: HIV/AIDS programs would receive $342.03 million in FY2009, $7.97 million less than FY2008.
International Family Planning: Reproductive health and family planning programs would receive $301.7 million in FY2009, $93.3 million less than FY2008.
According to budget documents, none of funds under this heading may be used to pay for abortion services, “to coerce any person to practice abortions…[or] to lobby for or against abortion.” It also states that “in order to reduce reliance on abortion in developing nations,” funds would only be available to voluntary family planning projects that provide or refer for a “broad range of family planning methods and services.” Voluntary family planning projects would be required to prohibit: (1) providers from implementing “quotas or other numerical targets” for births and/or people who accepted family planning services; (2) the paying of “bribes, gratuities, or financial reward[s]” to any individual or program personnel; and (3) the denial of any right or benefit to any individual based on that individual’s refusal to accept family planning services. Voluntary projects also would be required to provide “comprehensive information” on contraceptive methods, including benefits, risk, and adverse side effects and could only provide experimental contraceptive drugs or devices “in the context of scientific study in which participants are advised on potential risks and benefits.”
Grants for natural family planning services must be awarded without regard to an “applicant’s religious or conscientious commitment to offer only natural family planning.”
Millennium Challenge Corporation: Under the administration’s budget, the Millennium Challenge Corporation would receive $2.225 billion in FY2009, $681 million over FY2008.
Department of Transportation
Minority Business Outreach: The FY2009 budget would provide $3.056 million for outreach activities at the Minority Business Outreach and the Bonding Assistance Program, $86,000 more than FY2008. These programs assist “small, women-owned, Native American, and other disadvantaged business firms in securing contracts and subcontracts resulting from transportation-related federal support.”
Commission on Civil Rights: Under the FY2009 budget request, the Commission on Civil Rights would receive $8.8 million in FY2009, $340,000 less than in FY2008.
Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC): The administration’s budget would provide $341.925 million in FY2009 for the EEOC, $12.625 million more than in FY2008.
Legal Services Corporation: The president’s budget would provide $311 million for the Legal Services Corporation in FY2009, $39.49 million less than FY2008.
National Science Foundation (NSF): The budget request would provide $6.854 billion for the NSF in FY2009, $462 million above FY2008. Included in that amount is $19.25 million for the Opportunities for Women and Persons with Disabilities program and $8.06 million for graduate research fellowships for women in engineering and computer science.
The request also includes $11.5 million for the Research on Gender in Science and Engineering and $20.79 million for the ADVANCE program in FY2009. The program “fund[s] transformative efforts to address the systemic barriers to women’s full participation in academic science and engineering.”
Small Business Administration (SBA): The administration’s budget would provide $663 million for the SBA in FY2009, $94.002 million more than FY2008.
Under the president’s budget, SBA’s microloan program would receive no funding in FY2009. The program received $15 million in FY2008.
The Women’s Business Centers program would receive $12 million in FY2009, $1 million less than in FY2008.
The budget proposal would renew legislative language requiring health plans participating in the Federal Employees Health Benefits Program (FEHBP) to cover prescription contraceptives if they cover other prescription drugs. The requirement to cover contraceptives would not apply to “religious plans.” In addition, “any plan that enters into, or renews, a contract under this section may not subject any individual to discrimination on the basis that the individual refuses to prescribe or otherwise provide for contraceptives because such activities would be contrary to the individual’s religious beliefs or moral convictions…Nothing in this section shall be construed to require coverage of abortion or abortion-related services.”
The administration’s budget also would renew language permitting a woman to breastfeed her child in a federal building or on federal property if she and her child are authorized to be present at the location.
The budget proposes to make permanent the tax provisions included in the 2001 (P.L. 107-116) and 2003 tax laws (P.L. 108-27). These include: increasing the child tax credit, expanding the 10 percent income tax bracket, and expanding the standard deduction and 15 percent income tax bracket for married taxpayers filing jointly.
President Bush proposes a deduction for individuals and families who do not have employer-sponsored health care coverage. According to the budget document, “As long as families have at least a catastrophic health insurance policy, they will be able to deduct $15,000 from their income ($7,500 for an individual). This will foster a true marketplace for health care, encourage competition, improve the efficiency of the system, and reduce the ranks of the uninsured.
The budget includes three new initiatives to reform the health care marketplace: association health plans that would allow smaller employers “to use collective purchasing power to negotiate lower-priced coverage for their employees, members, and their families”; allowing consumers to purchase health care plans across state lines to encourage competition and “maintain strong consumer protections”; and medical liability reform “to reduce frivolous, time-consuming legal proceedings against doctors and health care providers.”
President Bush also calls for the reauthorization of the State Children’s Health Insurance Program (SCHIP) (P.L. 110-173). His budget includes a legislative proposal to reauthorize SCHIP through FY2013 at $19.7 billion. The program would limit coverage to children with family incomes at or below 200 percent of the federal poverty line ($42,400 or less for a family of four in 2008). It also would include outreach grants of $50 million for FY2009 and $100 million for FY2010-2013 to enroll eligible uninsured children.
President Bush again proposes Social Security reform. The budget proposal would “allow workers to use a portion of the Social Security payroll tax to fund voluntary personal retirement accounts. These accounts would give Americans an opportunity to build a nest egg and pursue a higher return on their payroll taxes than is possible in the current system, thereby giving them greater control over their retirement finances. Under the president’s proposal, beginning in 2013 workers will be allowed to use up to four percent of their Social Security taxable earnings, up to a $1,400 annual limit, to fund their personal retirement accounts. The $1,400 cap will be increased by $100, adjusted for wage growth, each year beginning in 2014 and continuing until 2018.”