HHS FY2016 Budget in Brief

HHS LogoPublic Health and Social Services Emergency Fund

A chemical disaster exercise where Public Health Emergency responders are dressed in haz-mat suits.

The Public Health and Social Services Emergency Fund directly supports the nation’s ability to prepare for, respond to, and recover from the health consequences of naturally occurring and manmade threats.

Emergency Fund Budget Overview

(Dollars in millions)

Funds by Office: Office of the Secretary, Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response (ASPR) 2014 2015 2016 2016
+/- 2015
Preparedness and Emergency Operations 28 25 25 --
National Disaster Medical System  50 50 50 --
Hospital Preparedness 255 255 255 --
ESAR-VHP (non-add) 1 -- -- --
Medical Countermeasure Dispensing 5 -- -- --
Medical Reserve Corps /1 9 9 6 -3
Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority /2 413 473 522 +49
Project BioShield 254 255 646 +391
Policy and Planning 15 15 15 --
Operations 31 31 31 --
Subtotal, ASPR Program Level 1,061 1,113 1,549 +437


Funds by Office: Office of the Secretary (OS) 2014 2015 2016 2016
+/- 2015
Office of Security and Strategic Information 6 6 7 --
Cybersecurity 53 41 73 +32
HHS Lease Replacement 16 -- -- --
Subtotal, Other Office of the Secretary 76 49 81 +32


Funds: Pandemic Influenza 2014 2015 2016 2016
+/- 2015
ASPR Pandemic Influenza 111 68 166 +98
Office of Global Affairs Pandemic Influenza 4 4 4 --
Subtotal, Other Office of the Secretary 115 72 170 +98


Funds: Pandemic PHSSEF 2014 2015 2016 2016
+/- 2015
Emergency Response Initiative -- -- 110 +110
Health Insurance Evidence Initiative (PHS Evaluation funds) /3 -- -- 30 +30
Subtotal, Other PHSSEF -- -- 140 +140


Totals and Less Funds from Other Sources 2014 2015 2016 2016
+/- 2015
Total Program Level, PHSSEF 1,251 1,233 1,940 +707
Use of PHS Evaluation Funds Fund Appropriation -- -- 30 -30
Total Discretionary Budget Authority, PHSSEF 1,251 1,233 1,910 +677

Tables Footnotes

1/ Prior to FY 2015, MRC was administered by OASH. The FY 2014 total is added for comparability.

2/ Includes $58 million for Ebola Response from PL 113-164.  Does not include $733 million for Emergency Ebola Response (PL 113-235).

3/ For details on the specifics of this initiative, please reference the Overview section.

Full Time Equivalents

2014: 663
2015: 741
2016: 765
2016 +/- 2015: +24

Emergency Fund Activities

The FY 2016 Budget includes $1.9 billion, an increase of $677 million above FY 2015 for the Public Health and Social Services Emergency Fund (PHSSEF) in the Office of the Secretary.  This funding will support the Department’s cross-cutting efforts to improve the nation’s preparedness against naturally occurring and man-made health threats.  The Budget continues to support the Administration’s priority to combat these threats with coordinated efforts domestically and internationally.  The activities supported by the PHSSEF, including advanced development of medical countermeasures, pandemic influenza preparedness activities, and emergency preparedness, contribute to the Department’s overall emergency and response strategy.

Bioterrorism and Emergency Preparedness

PHSSEF activities supported by the FY 2016 Budget include bioterrorism preparedness and response activities within the Office of the Secretary, and the coordination of programs across HHS to make improvements in the nation’s ability to prepare for, respond to, and recover from public health emergencies and disasters. Specific activities include advanced development and procurement of medical countermeasures, improvements in state and local emergency preparedness, and immediate emergency response efforts.

Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response:  Supported by the PHSSEF, the Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response (ASPR) serves as the principal advisor to the Secretary of HHS on public health and medical emergency preparedness and response.  ASPR’s efforts focus on promoting community preparedness and resiliency; strengthening the nation’s health and response systems; building research and development partnerships with federal agencies, academic institutions, and private industry; and enhancing national health security.  The FY 2016 Budget includes $1.5 billion for ASPR, an increase of $437 million over FY 2015.

Since its inception in 2007, ASPR’s Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority (BARDA) has support advanced research of more than 85 chemical, biological, radiological, and nuclear medical countermeasure product candidates.  Because of the Administration’s commitment to medical countermeasure development, BARDA expects a dozen more medical countermeasures to be sufficiently mature for procurement through Project BioShield by FY 2018. The Budget includes $522 million for medical countermeasure advanced development, an increase of $49 million over FY 2015.  This funding includes support for the advanced development of: devices to measure an individual’s exposure to biological agents; antidotes for chemical agents; and antiviral and vaccine candidates against Ebola and Marburg viruses.

Funding for Project BioShield supports the late development and procurements of novel medical countermeasures for the Strategic National Stockpile. Since 2003, Project BioShield has procured a total of 12 novel medical countermeasures, which have improved preparedness against threats such as anthrax, botulism, smallpox, and chemical, radiological, and nuclear agents.  Two of these products, an anthrax antitoxin and a botulism antitoxin, were approved by the Food and Drug Administration in 2013 under the Animal Efficacy Rule.  The FY 2016 Budget includes $646 million to support ongoing late-stage development and procurement through Project BioShield, an increase of $391 million over FY 2015.  This funding would specifically support the procurement of eight medical countermeasures, including a new adjuvanted anthrax vaccine, new anthrax antitoxin and smallpox vaccine with improve shelf life, and new skin replacement therapies. In order to support necessary product maintenance, storage, and replenishment, this Project BioShield’s increase is in conjunction with increased funding for the Strategic National Stockpile. Through the Centers of Disease Control and Prevention, the FY 2016 Budget includes $571 million to support the Strategic National Stockpile, $37 million above FY 2015.

Within its previous advanced development funding, BARDA has partnered with industry in the development of nine new broad spectrum antibiotics in an effort to combat antibiotic-resistant bacteria.  The FY 2016 Budget includes $192 million for the continued support of these activities within BARDA, an increase of $108 million over FY 2015. This funding aligns with the Administration’s high priority goals as outlined in the National Strategy for Combating Antibiotic-Resistant Bacteria.

Ebola Outbreak Response in West Africa

The 2014 Ebola outbreak is the largest in history and the first Ebola epidemic the world has ever known — affecting multiple countries in and around West Africa. ASPR contributes to the support of the Ebola response through:

  • Accelerating development of promising vaccine and therapeutics candidates;
  • Providing hospitals and healthcare coalitions with funding for personal protective equipment and training; and enhancing healthcare infrastructure for improved screening and assessment.

ASPR’s efforts have contributed significantly to the government-wide domestic response to elevate preparedness and protect the nation from any further spread.

The PHSSEF has supported emergency response efforts through investments in ASPR’s Hospital Preparedness Program, which provides grant support to hospitals and healthcare coalitions to bolster emergency preparedness through planning and infrastructure.  Investments in coalitions have resulted in the development of improved response systems, realistic exercises, collaborative partnerships, and information sharing that has proven valuable throughout numerous disaster responses. The FY 2016 Budget includes $255 million to support ASPR’s Hospital Preparedness Program, which is flat with FY 2015.

The Hospital Preparedness Program closely aligns with the Centers of Disease Control and Prevention’s Public Health Emergency Preparedness program.  Between FY 2008 and FY 2015, the two programs have provided a combined total of nearly $12 billion to support flexible and adaptable community preparedness planning and to encourage close coordination among a variety of stakeholders across the health spectrum. 

In addition to the hospital and public health capacity support programs, the FY 2016 Budget provides $75 million to support the Department’s emergency preparedness and response efforts.  This funding supports the National Disaster Medical System, which is a federally-coordinated system that augments state and local medical response capabilities during public health emergencies.  State and local medical preparedness is supported by this program through real-world training exercises, including those executed through the partnership with the Department of Homeland Security’s Center for Domestic Preparedness in Alabama.  In FY 2016, ASPR will formally take over the administration of the Medical Reserve Corps, previously administered by the Office of the Assistant Secretary for Health.  ASPR will be able to achieve administrative and programmatic efficiencies for the administration of the Medical Reserve Corps because of its alignment with existing program objectives. The Budget includes $6 million to support the Medical Reserve Corps within ASPR.  

This funding also supports ASPR’s Office of Emergency Management, which is in place to support communities as they prepare for, respond to, and recover from the public health and medical impact of emergencies and disasters.  This office also specifically supports the Secretary’s Operation Center, which monitors information across multiple sources to identify potential or emerging threats to public health. The FY 2016 Budget includes $25 million for emergency management programs, which is flat with FY 2015.

The Budget includes $110 million to provide immediate response to an unanticipated public health emergency in which rapid action would be critical to mitigate these threats.  This new request was informed by lessons learned from the Department’s Ebola response and other recent response efforts.  This proposal aims to strengthen the nation’s capability to plan for and manage the response to public health emergencies, particularly outbreaks of infectious disease that may require both domestic and international response capabilities.  Of this amount, $20 million will be used for preparedness activities, including training for potential responders and equipment.

The Budget proposes continuation of the Department-wide emergency transfer authority included in the FY 2015 Omnibus.  This authority will augment HHS’ capability to respond rapidly to public health emergencies, especially to states and local communities in the case of a catastrophic event.  

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Pandemic Influenza

Within the past two years, the emergence of novel influenza viruses, have clearly demonstrated the critical need for ongoing influenza preparedness activities.  Influenza and other emerging diseases with pandemic potential continue to mutate and evolve, posing significant risks to global public health.  Previous investments have successfully increased pandemic influenza preparedness, including the retrofitting of domestic manufacturing facilities to nearly double vaccine manufacturing surge capacity.  To continue these efforts, the FY 2016 Budget includes $170 million for ongoing pandemic influenza activities. This funding includes support for diagnostics advanced development, vaccine stockpiling, international preparedness, and the advanced development of immunotherapeutics.

Pandemic Influenza: Applied Lessons Learned

Since the 2009 outbreak of the influenza strain, H1N1, in 2009, the Department has assessed opportunities for improvement and implemented new and improved preparedness initiatives. The changes made as a result of the lessons learned from H1N1 have proven instrumental to more recent responses. These improvements include: the advanced development of high throughput rapid diagnostics; the development and production of H5N1 and H7N9 vaccine seed strains; antigen and new antigen-sparing adjuvants; and the expansion and increased flexibility of domestic vaccine manufacturing surge capacity. The Department’s lessons learned were particularly important to the H7N9 response. For example, new cell- and recombinant-based influenza vaccines, generated by the need identified in the H1N1 response have been licensed for use. Technology improvements in vaccine development and manufacturing have streamlined vaccine seed production, which has provided the ability to develop influenza vaccines quicker. Partnerships with private industry, such as the Centers of Innovation and for Advanced Development and Manufacturing, allowed the Department to quickly pivot and expand capacity for the development and manufacturing of H7N9 vaccines for stockpiling.

Department-wide Information Security

Cybersecurity:  The FY 2016 Budget includes $73 million for HHS’ Cybersecurity Program, $32 million above FY 2015.  This program works to ensure that all automated information systems throughout the Department are designed, operated, and maintained with appropriate information technology security and privacy data protections.  A significant portion of this increase is necessary to upgrade bandwidth capacity within the existing Trusted Internet Connections to preserve the increased security that these functionalities have provided through prior-year investments.  As cyberthreats become more frequent and more sophisticated, additional funding in the FY 2016 Budget will better enable the Department to identify and respond swiftly to mitigate cybersecurity risks.

Security and Strategic Information:  The Budget includes $7.5 million for the Office of Security and Strategic Information, which is the same as FY 2015.  Office of Security and Strategic Information coordinates the sharing and safeguarding of classified national security information across the Department with the Director of National Intelligence and its component agencies within the intelligence community.  Funding for FY 2016 will support the Office of Security and Strategic Information’s efforts to adhere to increased counterintelligence requirements.  

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