President’s FY 2017 Budget Health Care Proposals

WASHINGTON, DC – The Senate Budget Committee today released its second in a series of analyses of the President’s FY 2017 Budget submission. The February 11, 2016, Budget Bulletin is focused on the Budget’s health care proposals. The Budget Bulletin provides regular expert articles by Senate Budget Committee analysts on the issues before Congress relating to the budget, deficits, debt, and the economy.

Read the full Senate Budget Bulletin here.

Excerpts follow:

Overview: Health Care Proposals

The budget includes a number of new mandatory spending initiatives in areas that have historically been considered discretionary. The president’s proposal cuts discretionary spending at the National Institute of Health (NIH) by $1 billion, but increases mandatory agency spending by more than $1.8 billion. This includes $755 million for the vice president’s cancer “moonshot” initiative, which boosts NIH National Cancer Institute funding by $680 million and transfers an additional $75 million to the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). Remaining NIH mandatory spending increases support the president’s precision medicine initiative ($100 million) and the “BRAIN” initiative to enhance our understanding of the human brain ($45 million).

Across HHS, $559 million in new mandatory and discretionary funding is provided to address prescription drug abuse in 2017. Included in this amount is a new $1 billion ($500 million in 2017) two-year mandatory funding increase for Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) to support state-led evidence-based programs to increase access to treatment and recovery services. Some of the major increases are also requested for improved prescribing practices ($10 million), supporting the development and use of naloxone ($10 million), and expanding the use of medication-assisted treatment ($25 million). Similar to NIH, SAMHSA sees a $95 million reduction to its discretionary budget in 2017, but a $590 million increase in mandatory spending.

The president’s budget also proposes $500 million in new two-year mandatory funding for a dedicated mental health initiative, including $115 million in SAMHSA grants to states for early intervention programs, $30 million for a new state suicide prevention demo, $55 million to expand the number of states in the community behavioral health clinic demonstration program, $25 million to increase behavioral health providers at Indian Health Services, and $25 million to provide additional loan repayment awards for behavioral health providers.

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