- President Donald Trump’s proposed $4.1 trillion budget includes a $610 billion cut to Medicaid along with a 20% cut to the Children’s Health Insurance Program, among other health-related funding reductions.
- The budget, which was released Tuesday, also calls for large cuts to the National Institutes of Health ($5.7 billion), Centers for Disease Control and Prevention ($1.3 billion) and U.S. Food and Drug Administration ($854 million).
- The document also suggests a $22 million budget reduction for the Office of The National Coordinator for Health IT, which supports precision medicine research and other initiatives such as the 21st Century Cures Act, a recently passed bipartisan bill.
Patient advocate groups voiced deep concerns Tuesday with the Medicaid and public health program cuts in Trump’s budget. They were joined by Democrats — and even a few Republicans — in Congress.
The White House budget, as presented, will almost certainly never be enacted. Congress has the power of the purse and there will likely be major changes to the document presented Tuesday. It does give an indication, though, of Trump’s healthcare priorities — and targets.
The massive Medicaid cut made the biggest waves. Center on Budget and Policy Priorities President Robert Greenstein said in a statement Trump’s “disturbing” budget would result in more uninsured and cuts to Medicaid benefits and eligibility.
The cuts to public health and research certainly didn’t go unnoticed.
Former CDC Director Tom Frieden posted on Twitter that the suggested 17% cut to the agency’s budget “is unsafe at any level of enactment.”
AMIA Board Chairman Thomas Payne said in a statement the cuts would force federal agencies to reduce staffing and reorient programming. “The impact of these cuts, if they are realized, will reverberate across our nation’s hospitals, universities, and other important sectors of the economy," he wrote. "The ecosystem that entices young scientists and clinicians to pursue their passion to help patients will be severely damaged, resulting in a downward spiral of innovation, delayed or forgone investment in new treatments, and a stagnant patchwork of IT-enabled patient care."
Another concern for hospitals and researchers is the budget's plan to eliminate funding for the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, which provides hospital with evidence-based guidelines for improving patient safety and care delivery.
The document assumes the passage of the American Health Care Act, although that is far from assured. Senators working on their version of the bill that barely passed the House earlier this month are wrestling with many of the same issues this budget addresses, such as funding for the Medicaid program.