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Budget bill has $3.7 million in health care, research funds for Ohio

The $410 billion federal budget bill for fiscal 2009 — which Pres. Barack Obama signed today, though he considers the bill imperfect — includes $3.7 million in health care and research funding for Ohio, according to U.S. Sen. Sherrod Brown.

The $410 billion federal budget bill for fiscal 2009  — which President Barack Obama signed today, though he considers the bill imperfect — includes $3.7 million in health care and research funding for Ohio, according to  U.S. Sen. Sherrod Brown.

“These funds will meet health care needs of Ohio families while ensuring that cutting-edge research and treatment is being conducted in the state,” Brown, a Democrat, said in an afternoon statement.

Brown detailed Ohio funding under the Omnibus Budget Reconciliation  Act of 2009, which runs through September:

  • $714,000 for Northeast Ohio, including $381,000 for Hospice of the Western Reserve to build Hospice House, Western Campus, in Westlake; as well as $143,000 for Akron General Health System to build an Edwin Shaw Rehabilitation Center in downtown Akron
  • $2.1 million for Central Ohio, including $808,625 for Nationwide Children’s Hospital Research Institute in Columbus to expand, renovate and equip the Biorepository for Children’s and Women’s Cancers, a national archive of tissues
  • $627,000 for Southwest Ohio, including $190,000 to Children’s Medical Center of Dayton to renovate its pediatric trauma center and emergency room.
  • $285,000 for Southeast Ohio, including $190,000 for the Appalachian Rural Health Institute at Ohio University in Athens.
  • $95,000 for the Children’s Hunger Alliance to support its Mission Nutrition program.
  • $95,000 for the Visiting Nurse Association Healthcare Partners of Ohio Ready Seniors programs in counties that include Cuyahoga, Summit, Portage, Lorain and Lake.

Earlier today, Obama and Democratic leaders laid out some changes in the legislative earmark process, according to Congressional Quarterly. The most recent budget bill reignited the debate about how legislators get money for their pet projects.

Heritage Foundation, the conservative public policy research institute, estimates there are 9,287 so-called “pork projects” at a cost of nearly $13 billion in the omnibus bill. Budget watchdog group Taxpayers for Common Sense estimates the earmarks at 8,500 for $7.7 billion.

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Obama, who said during his presidential campaign that he wanted to reform the earmark process, has distanced himself from the budget bill, Congressional Quarterly said.

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