Obama’s Budget Plan Includes $360B in Health Care Spending Cuts
On Monday, President Obama released a budget proposal for fiscal year 2013 that aims to reduce the federal deficit by $4 trillion over the next decade, the New York Times reports (Calmes, New York Times, 2/12).
Budget Proposal Details
The proposal seeks to cut total spending in Medicaid, Medicare and other health care programs by $360 billion through lower payments to health care providers (Crutsinger, AP/San Francisco Chronicle, 2/13).
Meanwhile, NIH's biomedical research budget would be frozen at $30.7 billion but the agency's grant-making policies would be revised to increase the number of new research grants by 7% (Zigmond, Modern Healthcare, 2/12).
The proposal also would provide CMS with a $1 billion, or 26%, increase in its program management funds, which reflects the agency's role in implementing provisions of the federal health reform law (Rogers, Politico, 2/12).
The FY 2013 budget, which would take effect Oct. 1, complies with an agreement made with Congress last August to reduce by $1 trillion discretionary spending, which funds most government programs but not entitlement programs, such as Medicare and Medicaid (New York Times, 2/12).
The proposal likely will spark a debate with congressional Republicans, who are expected to charge that the plan does not do enough to restrain the nation's deficit (AP/San Francisco Chronicle, 2/13).
House Budget Committee Chair Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) already has criticized Obama for failing to offer long-term cost-control strategies for entitlement programs (Montgomery, Washington Post, 2/12).
Ryan is drafting an alternative to Obama's budget that likely will mirror a measure that the House approved last year but that failed in the Senate.
Ryan said, "We're taking responsibility for dealing with the drivers of our debt," adding, "Medicare is going bankrupt" (AP/San Francisco Chronicle, 2/13).
According to the Times, Congress is unlikely to accept much of Obama's budget proposal because of the Republican opposition (New York Times, 2/12).This is part of the California Healthline Daily Edition, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.