Overall, the budget for the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) would be increased by $29 billion, but those increases are due to mandatory increases in Medicare and Medicaid spending. The agency's discretionary spending budget would be reduced by $2.2 billion.
HHS Secretary Michael Leavitt said "The budget makes targeted reductions in areas where grantees have not demonstrated improved health outcomes, grant periods are ending, activities can be supported through other funding streams, or efficiencies can be realized."
In other words, programs which have not been found to work, by the government's Program Assessment Rating Tool (PART), will lose their grant money in 2009.
Targeted for Budget Cuts
Some of the programs targeted for a budget reduction include:
- Drug Free Communities Program
- Programs of Regional and National Significance
- Center for Substance Abuse Treatment
- Center for Substance Abuse Prevention
- Center for Mental Health Services
Bob Curley of Join Together, a treatment and recovery advocacy group, outlines details of the proposed cuts in an article, Bush's 2009 Budget Cuts $198 Million from SAMHSA. Curley says some of the favorite programs of the White House were designated for budget increases in spite of findings by PART that they were woefully ineffective.