Comparing Ebola request to other health spending

AP News
Posted: Nov 05, 2014 4:02 PM

How does President Barack Obama's request for $6.2 billion in emergency funds to fight Ebola compare to other U.S. spending on health?

Much of the Ebola money would be earmarked for such things as emergency outbreak control in Africa and beefing up U.S. preparedness.

In contrast, much of the government's traditional spending on diseases is for research into their causes and potential treatments. For Ebola, the president's latest request includes $238 million for the National Institutes of Health to conduct clinical trials of potential vaccines and treatments.

Direct comparisons are difficult, but here are some estimates from government budget documents on federal spending for other diseases:

— HIV/AIDS: About $3 billion on overall research by NIH. Also, the U.S. government spends about $6 billion on AIDS treatment and prevention in low- and middle-income countries through PEPFAR, the President's Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief.

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—Heart disease, the leading U.S. killer: About $2 billion in NIH research.

—Cancer: About $5.4 billion on research by NIH; also, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention spends about $1 billion on chronic disease prevention, which includes cancer control, heart disease and fighting tobacco use.

—Public health preparedness: $1.4 billion by CDC.