While short on details, the “Skinny Budget” released yesterday—touching just one-third of the overall budget—made clear that health care was not a top priority in putting “America First.” Instead, the Budget limits federal investment in critical areas, like health care, while increasing investment in the military. The Budget includes unprecedented cuts that would devastate our nation’s health care infrastructure while making good on campaign promises to increase funding for the military and build a wall along the southern border. The Budget reflects the Trump Administration’s concern with defense and tearing families apart over the health and well-being and economic security of families.
This Budget is consistent with the Trump Administration’s agenda to undermine access to health care—an agenda supported by some members in Congress who are busy now fast-tracking a Budget Reconciliation measure that the Congressional Budget Office estimates would leave 24 million uninsured nationwide, while repealing critical provisions of the Affordable Care Act (ACA), ending the Medicaid program as we know it, and crippling access to essential family planning and preventive care service for women.
The Budget cuts $15.1 billion from the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), our nation’s source of health care, including Medicare and Medicaid, health research, and emergency health response—a whopping 17.9 percent decrease from 2017 Continuing Resolution levels, while increasing military spending by $52 Billion.
The Budget and the ACA Repeal Bill will have the intended effect of diminishing the role of the federal government, destroying the health care safety net, shifting costs to states, and leaving the most vulnerable individuals out in the cold—especially women.
The Budget also undermines research and innovation by slashing funding to the National Institutes of Health (NIH) by $5.8 billion. This means that programs essential for women’s health, like the NIH Office of Research on Women’s Health and the Women’s Reproductive Health Research Career Development Program, could be jeopardized.
And the Budget cripples the health care workforce by eliminating $403 million in health professions and nurse training programs—which could impact the future workforce of trusted providers of women’s health.
It’s time to expose the thinly veiled goals of This Budget and the ACA Repeal bill to dismantle our nation’s health system, deprive those most in need of critical health care, and shift costs to states. Putting women’s health care last does nothing to help America’s economy or workforce. We must oppose cuts that will cripple our nation’s federal system and hurt women and families.