The Trump Administration submitted its annual budget request to Congress on February 12, 2018, formally spurring the development of Fiscal Year (FY) 2019 federal spending bills.
In light of its release, recently confirmed U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) Secretary Alex Azar issued the following statement:
“The President’s budget makes investments and reforms that are vital to making our health and human services programs work for Americans and to sustaining them for future generations. In particular, it supports our four priorities here at HHS: addressing the opioid crisis, bringing down the high price of prescription drugs, increasing the affordability and accessibility of health insurance, and improving Medicare in ways that push our health system toward paying for value rather than volume.”
Specifically, the HHS budget request is comprised of $95.4 billion in discretionary authority and $1,120 billion in mandatory funding. This reflects an increase of $8.7 billion in discretionary spending, largely for the purpose of combatting the opioid addiction epidemic.
The Administration’s budget request for HHS seeks $812 million to support the Affordable Care Act’s (ACA) risk corridor program and provide temporary funding for cost-sharing reduction (CSR) payments. Additionally, it proposes that the ACA be repealed.