May 02, 2019

Spending Bill Would Extend Delay on USPSTF Mammography Guidelines

The House Labor-HHS-Education Subcommittee released draft legislation on April 29 that extends the current moratorium against the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force’s (USPSTF’s) controversial breast cancer screening recommendations and increases spending for the National Institutes of Health (NIH).

The spending bill would boost the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) budget to $99 billion, an $8.5 billion increase above the FY 2019 enacted level and $20.9 billion above the President’s proposed budget. The Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality’s budget would increase to $358 million, $20 million above FY 2019.

The measure features a one-year extension (through January 1, 2022) of the current delay in implementing of the 2009 USPSTF screening mammography recommendations as they apply to Affordable Care Act coverage and any other laws that reference the recommendations. Language in the bill will help ensure insurance coverage (without deductibles and copays) of annual screening mammograms for women 40 and older by recognizing the previous 2002 USPSTF recommendation favoring screening beginning at age 40.

The bill seeks a $2 billion increase for NIH that would bring its fiscal 2020 budget to $41.1 billion and would provide sufficient funding to increase the appropriation for each institute and center by nearly five percent.

The appropriations bill highlighted the following NIH research initiatives:

  • $2.4 billion for Alzheimer’s disease research
  • $195 million for the Cancer Moonshot research initiative
  • $411 million for the Brain Research through Application of Innovative Neurotechnologies initiative
  • $500 million for the All of Us research initiative

The spending bill will be considered before the full House Appropriations Committee on May 8.