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President Obama's Budget Cuts $50 Million From Vaccine Program For Underinsured

The White House told BuzzFeed News on Monday that the expansion of health insurance decreases the need for the 317 immunization program.

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President Obama's fiscal year budget for 2016 cuts $50 million from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services' 317 immunization program, which provides provides vaccines at no cost to those eligible, typically the uninsured and underinsured.

The proposed cut from the program comes during a measles outbreak in California and other western states, which has reignited the debate over mandatory childhood vaccinations.

In a statement, the White House defended the proposed cut, saying the Affordable Care Act's coverage makes the program less necessary.

"Health insurance expansion will further increase access to immunizations and decrease the number of uninsured and underinsured individuals in need of Section 317 vaccine for routine immunizations," a White House official told BuzzFeed News.

Kyle Blaine is the deputy politics editor for BuzzFeed News and is based in New York.

Contact Kyle Blaine at kyle.blaine@buzzfeed.com.

Evan McMorris-Santoro is the White House correspondent for BuzzFeed News.

Contact Evan McMorris-Santoro at evan@buzzfeed.com.

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