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Trump’s proposal highlights the administration’s priorities and can give stakeholders insight into future policy change.
President Trump’s full fiscal year (FY) 2018 budget proposal, A New Foundation for American Greatness, suggests major funding reductions in health that, if enacted, could shake the foundation of the U.S. healthcare system. The proposal does not appear poised to be taken up in congressional appropriation measures. Even Republican senators have indicated the proposal is a non-starter, with some going as far as to declare it “dead on arrival.”
Nevertheless, the proposal highlights Trump administration priorities and can give stakeholders insight into future policy changes that could be included in efforts to “repeal and replace” the Affordable Care Act (ACA) or through other legislative vehicles.
Five key takeaways for healthcare stakeholders from the President’s budget proposal include:
Health and Human Services Secretary Tom Price defended the cuts in testimony to Congress on June 8, arguing that America’s health programs are “broken” and in need of overhaul, not more funding.
Also, noteworthy, the budget proposal is silent on Medicare. It in effect honors President Trump’s campaign promise not to cut Medicare, though the head of the Office of Management and Budget has suggested that fiscal discipline will make it necessary to consider cutting Medicare down the road.
Robert Atlas is a strategic advisor and president of EBG Advisors, Inc. He serves as an executive consultant on strategy, policy analysis, program development, and performance improvement for healthcare providers, payers, policymakers, product makers, investors, and others.
Timothy J. Murphy is an associate in the Health Care and Life Sciences practice, in the Washington, DC, office of Epstein Becker Green.