President Donald Trump’s upcoming fiscal budget for 2018 is expected to direct more funds to curtail many of Medicare and Medicaid frauds, wastages, and abuses. It indicates major changes to Medicare, Medicaid, and the Children’s Health Insurance Program. This new proposal in the upcoming budget is made with the intention of focusing the agency resources on the highest priority activities vital for the efficient running of the programs.
The proposed fiscal 2018 budget covers the discretionary funding and has requested a sum of $69 for the HHS. This, however, is lower to about 18 percent than the previous 2017 fiscal budgets. Besides that, the president has also recommended $18 billion for non-defense discretionary spending cuts for the rest of fiscal 2017. Regarding the budget, the Committee for Responsible Federal Budget has stated that there is “too little information and too few details to evaluate the budget.”
The committee president Maya MacGuineas has stated that, “Generally, skinny budgets include proposals in all areas and show what these proposals will mean for deficits and debt over the next decade. This budget only gives us a picture of one and a half years and proposes changes to the 30 percent of spending that is discretionary. We need 100 % of a plan for 10 years. Not 30 % of a plan for just more than one year.”
The one-year skinny budget document released has brought out little details regarding the President’s fiscal 2018 budget. The document stated that the budget, “Supports efficient operations for Medicare, Medicaid, and the Children’s Health Insurance Program and focuses spending on the highest priority activities necessary to effectively operate these programs.”
HHS Secretary Tom Price and CMS Administrator Seema Verma have written to the governors about their concerns regarding the future of Medicaid. They both have made clear about Medicaid staying of course from its mission by stating that the Medicare expansion was a, “clear departure from the core, historical mission of the program.”
The budget document also lists program integrity as the highest priority with further measures aimed at eliminating waste, fraud, and abuse in these programs, while also focusing on curbing prescription drug overdoses. In addition, the decision to cut the proposed $5.8 billion intended for the National Institutes of Health has led to severe criticisms from many congressional democrats.
President Trump’s budget has also made proposals for significant investments in the area of mental health activities “awarded to high-performing entities”. It will focus on mental illnesses, suicide prevention, and children’s mental health.