On Thursday, March 9th, President Biden released the FY2024 Budget Proposal, amounting to $6.9 trillion. The budget is based on four key values: (1) lowering costs for families, (2) protecting Medicare, Medicaid, and Social Security, (3) investing in America and working people, and (4) lowering the national deficit.
Lowering Healthcare Costs
The White House proposed to increase funding to double community health centers and expand the National Health Service Corps to add additional healthcare workers to underserved areas. Moreover, the proposal includes $471 million to bolster maternal healthcare and expand maternal healthcare initiative in rural communities. An additional $400 million is budgeted for grant and loan program, ReConnect, which would bring broadband connectivity to underserved areas and expand access to telehealth services to foster health equity.
Extending Solvency of Federal Programs
The White House proposed $150 billion to expand Medicaid home and community-based services and health centers over the next decade. The proposal seeks to lower consumer costs for Medicare beneficiaries and require parity in coverage between medical and mental health services.
Last year, Congress passed the Inflation Reduction Act, which the budget plans to build on drug pricing provisions to reduce Medicare spending, alleviating the Medicare solvency crisis. The budget calls for permanently expanding Medicare solvency by extending the Medicare Hospital Insurance (HI) trust fund by at least 25 years without cutting benefits. Further, under Medicare Part D, the Administration is committed to cutting cost-sharing for high-value generic drugs used for chronic conditions to no more than $2.
For Veterans, $16.6 billion is proposed to expand and lower the cost of mental health services for inpatient and outpatient treatment. The Administration proposed an increase in funding for suicide research, prevention initiatives, and expansion of Veterans 988 Crisis Line.
The Administration budgeted additional funding for the Department of Education (ED) to increase mental health providers in schools, and an additional $578 million over the allocated $1 billion for the Bipartisan Safer Communities Act to hire more mental health workers.
For those with commercial insurance, the budget would expand mental health coverage and strengthen the network of providers as well as lower the cost of mental health services for those of Medicare to expand coverage for behavioral healthcare providers.
Additionally, the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) released its FY2024 budget proposal, detailing mandatory and discretionary spending. HHS is proposed to have an 11% increase in budgetary spending for FY2024. The Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA), who is employed to improve access to healthcare services in underserved and rural communities, plans to invest $387.4 million towards behavioral health workforce development programs to train 18,000 behavioral health providers. $1.9 billion is proposed to HRSA-funded Alliance for Innovation on Maternal Health (AIM) to reduce maternal mortality and reduce maternal postpartum illness and death.
This proposal is projected to decrease the federal deficit by $3 trillion over the next ten years. With the release of the President’s budget, this begins the FY2024 appropriations cycle.
Budget Requests for Discretionary Budget Authority
Percent Increase from FY2023
Department of Education
Department of Health & Human Services
Department of Veterans Affairs
$3 billion increase
Social Security Administration
For more information or if you would like to become involved in ACA’s advocacy efforts, you can contact the ACA Government Affairs and Public Policy team at email@example.com.