Budget Hearings Underway
On March 9, 2023, President Biden published his FY 2024 budget. The US Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) budget proposes $1.7 trillion in mandatory funding and $143 billion in discretionary budget authority, an 11.5% increase in discretionary funding from the 2023 enacted level.
While the budget request represents the administration’s funding goals for the coming year, it also sheds light on the administration’s policy goals. With tight margins in the House and Senate, it is unlikely that many legislative policies will move forward. However, stakeholders can look to the budget’s policy goals as potential regulatory or executive actions that the Administration could implement without the need for congressional action.
The Administration is touting investments in the following:
- Preparing for future public health threats
- Protecting the health of Americans, including maternal health, reproductive health, behavioral health and preventive care
- Expanding coverage and access to care
- Expanding the health workforce
- Advancing science to improve health
- Ensuring effective and efficient health management and stewardship, including operations, cybersecurity and program integrity.
The president’s FY 2024 budget request is the first step in the federal budget process. Administration officials will testify before several congressional committees in the coming weeks to present and discuss the proposed budget. Relevant congressional committees are already discussing the FY 2024 budget and appropriations, as time is limited between now and the end of the current fiscal year (September 31, 2023).
This year, the president’s budget announcement comes in the shadow of the debt ceiling, which will heighten the focus as the two sides promote their divergent positions on addressing the debt ceiling and federal government spending, including Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security spending.
COVID-19 Hits Three-Year Mark
As we hit the third anniversary of our world shutting down because of the pandemic, we’ve spent some time reflecting on how that experience has changed the world of advocacy and how things will be different moving forward. The one thing that remains the same is the need for healthcare stakeholders to make their case to policymakers, and we will continue to try to find creative ways to do that every day.