The Trump Administration released its FY 2020 Federal Budget proposal on March 11. During the week of March 17, additional materials were released, including an appendix, analytical perspectives, and a Major Savings And Reforms Document that contains detailed information for use by the Appropriations Committees. An overall view reveals proposed savings of $48.4 billion in discretionary programs, including $25.8 billion in program eliminations and $22.6 billion in reductions. If history is any guide, legislators are unlikely to accept what the Administration has offered and will weigh in regarding what they consider to be more alternative ways of allocating federal dollars.
Immediate Congressional criticism of the Administration budget has focused on spending reductions on health programs that are considered too harsh. For example, the President’s proposal would cut hundreds of billions of dollars from Medicare. The budget also would slash funds for the National Institutes of Health by $5.5 billion in 2020, including a $897 million reduction in the National Cancer Institute's budget. The Administration also wants to provide $256 million to consolidate the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality's work into the National Institute for Research in Safety and Quality, which is part of an attempt to streamline federal research.
Prior to taking action to pass 12 annual appropriations bills, lawmakers first will have to reach an agreement to raise spending caps under the Budget Control Act (BCA) so that appropriators have top-line spending limits with which to work. Absent a new agreement, discretionary spending caps will be cut to the levels outlined in the BCA for FY 2020, approximately $126 billion less than FY 2019.
Regarding other legislation, Senators Ron Wyden (D-OR), Marco Rubio (R-FL), and Mark Warner (D-VA) on March 6, 2019 reintroduced the Student Right to Know Before You Go Act (S. 681) to provide information through the U.S. Department of Education (USDE) on the costs and outcomes associated with higher education. Data focusing on graduation rates, debt levels, and earnings would be generated based on student information from institutions, along with loan and income information from USDE and the Internal Revenue Service. Versions of this bill have been introduced in every Congress since 2012. A companion bill (H.R. 1565) was introduced in the House by Duncan Hunter (R-CA).
Senators Bill Cassidy (R-LA), Elizabeth Warren (D-MA), and 13 other Republicans and Democrats reintroduced the College Transparency Act (S. 800) on March 14, 2018. Initially introduced in the previous Congress, the bill would change the way the USDE collects information on postsecondary institutions, modifying the college reporting system to include student outcomes information, such as completion and post-college employment. Institutions would provide data for USDE to generate post-college outcome reports to be presented on a user-friendly Website. Currently, the Higher Education Act (HEA) prohibits a student unit record system. A companion bill (H.R. 1766) was introduced in the House by Mitchell Paul (R-MI).
A Medicare For All Act also was introduced in this session of Congress and will be discussed on the next page of the current newsletter.
More Articles from TRENDS March 2019
COSTS ASSOCIATED WITH NONADHERENCE
Suggests how factors affecting both caregivers and patients can result in nonadherence to treatment interventions. Read More
PRESIDENT’S CORNER—ASAHP MEMBER FOCUS
Curt Lox, Dean, Brooks College of Health Professions at the University of North Florida, is featured in this issue of TRENDS. Read More
HEALTH REFORM DEVELOPMENTS
Discusses: the introduction of the Medicare For All Act Of 2019; an effort to repeal the ACA medical device tax; a bipartisan initiative to reduce health care cost growth; and a bill to prevent health care fraud. Read More
DEVELOPMENTS IN HIGHER EDUCATION
Describes: Senate and House hearings on reauthorizing the Higher Education Act (HEA), a proposal from the White House to reform the HEA, negotiated rulemaking by the U.S. Department of Education, and a judicial ruling on final regulations pertaining to borrower defense to repayment regulations. Read More
QUICK STAT (SHORT, TIMELY, AND TOPICAL)
Selected Estimates Based On The National Health Interview Survey, January To September 2018
Electronic Health Behaviors Among U.S. Adults With Chronic Disease
Use Of Toilet Seats To Detect Chronic Heart Failure
Medical And Health Data Wearable Read More
AVAILABLE RESOURCES ACCESSIBLE ELECTRONICALLY
Emerging Technologies To Support An Aging Population
School Success: An Opportunity For Population Health
CARE Act Implementation: Progress And Promise Read More
IMPACT OF MARIJUANA LAWS ON HEALTH AND LABOR SUPPLY
Provides information about the effects of state medical marijuana laws on the health and labor supply of adults age 51 and older, with a focus on individuals with medical conditions that may respond positively to treatment involving marijuana. Read More
GLOBAL SYNDEMIC OF OBESITY, UNDERNUTRITION, AND CLIMATE CHANGE
Refers to a proposed rationale for international-level policy interventions that have the potential to mitigate harmful health consequences associated with these three problems. Read More