- President Obama's proposed 2017 budget includes big spending increases to support healthcare IT interoperability with $22 million and cybersecurity initiatives linked to protecting healthcare data with $19 billion.
- The budget also provides easier ways for states to expand Medicaid, with three years of full federal funding for expansion costs.
- A $24 million funding increase for the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ) is also part of the proposed budget, with $9 million going toward a new AHRQ project to better coordinate care for patients with multiple chronic conditions.
Republicans will do what they can to pass very little of the budget, sharply criticizing Obama's spending increases. Members of the Joint Committee said they will not invite the president's budget director, Shaun Donovan, to testify about the proposed budget, even though it has been a standard part of the budget process since 1975.
"Like every one of his previous budgets, President Obama's newest plan never balances. Ever," Committee Chairman, Rep. Tom Price (R-GA), said in a statement. "Like all of his previous proposals, it increases spending by trillions of dollars above what we already cannot afford and it takes more money out of the pockets of hardworking taxpayers with no plan to address the key drivers of our debt."
However, according to the New York Times, the cybersecurity initiative may gain bipartisan support, even with Republicans dead set against the budget. A $3.1 billion proposal to upgrade the government's computer system was driven by the identity theft of 22 million Americans by the Chinese last year from a system run by the Office of Personnel Management.