US: What Could U.S. Budget Cuts Mean for Global Health?

  • President Trump’s FY 18 budget request to Congress includes unprecedented cuts to global health. If enacted, they would total approximately $2.5 billion and bring funding below FY 08 levels. Still, the President’s budget is just the first step in a longer process where Congress now takes center stage.
  • We developed “budget impact models” to assess the impact of funding cuts. We modeled three budget scenarios – the Administration’s proposed cuts as well as two more modest decreases – in countries that receive U.S. global health assistance for HIV, TB, family planning, and maternal, newborn, and child health.
  • Based on our models, the potential health impacts of these one-year cuts is significant across all three budget scenarios. For example, depending on the size of the cut, we estimate that starting next year:
    • Additional new HIV infections would range from 69,200 to 280,100; the number of people on antiretrovirals could decline by almost one million in the steepest budget cut scenario;
    • Additional new TB cases would range from 7,600 to 31,100;
    • The number of women and couples receiving contraceptives would decline, ranging from 6.5 million to almost 25 million; the increase in the number of abortions would range between 819,000 to more than 3 million; and
    • Additional maternal, newborn, and child deaths would range between 7,000 and 31,300.
  • While the fate of this year’s global health budget remains uncertain, these models illustrate the relationship between such decisions and health outcomes in low- and middle-income countries and provide one important tool for assessing future budget choices.

Read the brief from Kaiser Family Foundation