The public budget in Brazil has undergone significant changes since enactment of the 1988 Federal Constitution. Mechanisms for integration of planning activities and budget execution have been created, and Legislative participation in budgeting has increased. Congressional amendments appeared in this context. The article discusses the participation of Congressional amendments in the Federal health budget from 1997 to 2006, combining elements for discussion of funding mechanisms and health planning. Such amendments played a significant role in the budget process, accounting for over half of health funds in some years. The North was the region of Brazil that received most resources resulting from Congressional amendments, suggesting the need for further studies on the relationship between the amendments' enforcement and political party coalitions. The article concludes that the amendments cannot be understood solely as a funding mechanism, but mainly as a political instrument, and that they are not necessarily subject to health planning logic.
Health Policy; Health Financing; Budgets