Find Information About:

Drugs & Supplements

Get information and reviews on prescription drugs, over-the-counter medications, vitamins, and supplements. Search by name or medical condition.

Pill Identifier

Pill Identifier

Having trouble identifying your pills?

Enter the shape, color, or imprint of your prescription or OTC drug. Our pill identification tool will display pictures that you can compare to your pill.

Get Started
My Medicine

My Medicine

Save your medicine, check interactions, sign up for FDA alerts, create family profiles and more.

Get Started

WebMD Health Experts and Community

Talk to health experts and other people like you in WebMD's Communities. It's a safe forum where you can create or participate in support groups and discussions about health topics that interest you.

  • Second Opinion

    Second Opinion

    Read expert perspectives on popular health topics.

  • Community


    Connect with people like you, and get expert guidance on living a healthy life.

Got a health question? Get answers provided by leading organizations, doctors, and experts.

Get Answers

Sign up to receive WebMD's award-winning content delivered to your inbox.

Sign Up

Health Care Reform:

Health Insurance & Affordable Care Act

Bill Includes Funds for Bird Flu; Debate on Stem Cell is Delayed

WebMD Health News

Senate Passes Large Health Spending Bill

Oct. 28, 2005 -- The U.S. Senate passed a huge health spending bill Thursday, approving new emergency funding for bird flu preparedness but delaying a contentious debate on the future of embryonic stem cell research.

The measure spends $476 billion on federal health programs, including Medicare, Medicaid, and the National Institutes of Health. Senators voted to spend about $3 billion more on health and medical programs that President Bush requested in his fiscal 2006 budget.

Most major health agencies saw their budgets increased over last year. But large budget deficits may prevent many government programs from getting the same increases this year.

Senators voted to spend $6 billion through the CDC, nearly $2 billion more than was requested by the White House. The National Institutes of Health, which enjoyed a doubling of its budget a couple of years ago, saw a $1 billion increase from last year to $29.4 billion.

Hot Political Issues

The bill, which controls spending in the departments of Labor, Health and Human Services, and Education, is traditionally a magnet for politically charged issues.

The Senate bill this week became a platform for $8 billion in emergency spending for vaccines and drugs combating bird flu. President Bush is expected to unveil a national bird flu preparedness plan next week, and bill sponsors, all Democrats, said the money would rapidly fund the plan once it is finalized.

A version of the spending bill passed the House in June without any comparable bird flu spending. House and Senate negotiators will have to work out the differences between the bills before sending it to the president for his signature.

Stem Cell Debate Delayed

Thursday's bill passed without what many expected would be a protracted debate on embryonic stem cell research. A majority of senators support expanding a three-year-old White House policy strictly limiting federal funding for the research, and key lawmakers had threatened to attach an expansion to the spending bill.

That ultimately did not happen because Republican leaders asked Sen. Arlen Specter (R-Penn.), chairman of the health appropriations subcommittee and chief sponsor of stem cell expansion legislation, not to offer the politically contentious legislation this week.

Latest Health Reform News

Loading …
URAC: Accredited Health Web Site TRUSTe online privacy certification HONcode Seal AdChoices