President Trump on May 23 released his budget plan for fiscal year (FY) 2018, which would cut $610 billion from Medicaid over 10 years.
Including the Medicaid cuts, the proposed budget would reduce funding for social and entitlement programs for low-income Americans by $1.7 trillion. Congress will review the plan and ultimately decide on a final budget.
America’s Essential Hospitals released a statement highlighting the negative effects the budget plan would have on patients and essential hospitals.
Meanwhile, the Department of Justice and House Republicans on Monday filed a motion with the U.S. Court of Appeals seeking an additional 90 days to determine whether to fund cost-sharing reduction subsidies (CSRs). Former President Obama authorized the CSR funding by an executive action, which House Republicans successfully challenged in court as unconstitutional. The Trump administration could drop a pending appeal of that ruling and allow the subsidies to end – a possibility that has created much uncertainty for insurers.
Senate Republicans also continue drafting legislation to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act (ACA). The House in early May narrowly passed the American Health Care Act (AHCA), and Senate legislation to repeal the ACA could include similar provisions.
The Congressional Budget Office on May 24 is expected to release a score of the most recent version of the AHCA. The House reportedly is waiting for the release of the CBO score before sending the AHCA to the Senate for consideration. If the latest version of the bill does not conform to budget reconciliation rules, the House would need to revise the legislation and vote again.
The House Committee on Energy and Commerce on May 23 held a hearing on the public health response to the Zika virus.
The House Committee on Ways and Means on May 24 is scheduled to host Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin for a hearing to discuss the administration’s FY 2018 budget. The Senate Committee on Finance on May 25 also plans to hear from Treasury Secretary Mnuchin for a discussion on budget proposals for the Department of Treasury and tax reform.