Though President Barack Obama’s intended 2017 budget ended nearly as fast as it arrived at Congress on the day of Tuesday, the chief executive’s last proposal involved millions in healthcare expenditures to bolster quality plans, make better interoperability and fight increasing pharmaceutical costs.
The president intended raising the Department of Health and Human Services budget to $1.1 trillion, which involved across-the-board increases to support healthcare initiatives.
For instance, Obama’s budget would have provided the Office for the National Coordinator, which handles the government’s health IT programs, an extra $22 million in the year 2017 to support interoperability programs.
“By combating data blocking, extending transparency, establishing a public‐private partnership between health information technology stakeholders, and executing governance tasks that develop standards for health IT entities, ONC will work towards a complete‐integrated health IT infrastructure that secures and empowers sufferers,” the document read.
The proposal also would have provided the ONC its greatest budget bump in the past few years.
The budget involved $19 billion to support cybersecurity initiatives, and many of those would be tied to securing healthcare information.
The president’s budget also gave to make it convenient for states to extend Medicaid in hopes of courting those states that have rejected expansion, most often on political fields. The budget offered states 3 years of complete-federal support when it comes to prices tied to expansion.
While Medicaid expansion is yet a contentious problem among Republicans, a host of latest reports on hospital finances indicate a trend toward improved cost control and lower rates of bad debt in expansion states.
Though the budget of president involved a laundry list of support for programs developed under the president’s signature Affordable Care Act, Republicans in Congress have already made certain very little in this budget will truly pass.
Members of the Joint Budget Committee this week stated that they would not provide Obama’s budget director Shaun Donovan the chance to testify about the proposed budget, though that hearing is a standard section of the procedure that has not altered since the year 1975.
Republican leaders or supervisors blasted the budget over expenditure increases, too.
“Similarly every one of his last previous budgets, President Obama’s latest policy never balances. Ever. Like all of his last proposals, it increases expenditure by trillions of dollars above what we actually cannot afford and takes more money out of the pockets of hardworking taxpayers with no policy to deal the significant drivers of our debt,” Committee Chairman Rep. Tom Price, R-Georgia, stated in a statement. “Under the vision of president, what we spend on interest on our national debt by the year 2022 will surpass that which we spend to secure and defend our nation. This is the similar access we have seen time and time again from this administration that sustains to lead America down the similar path we have been on for the last 7 years: one with less jobs, lower wages, less chances and less protection.”
Budget of Obama also involved various funding increases to support programs tied to moving healthcare to value-based payment models. That involved a $24 million funding increase for the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, which reinforces most quality-improvement plans..
“The Budget contributes $9 million in a latest AHRQ project to better coordinate care for sufferers with numerous chronic conditions by establishing and piloting tools deployed on integrated care policies, a new model that has indicated potential to make treatment regimens more brief, responsive, and convenient to adopt,” the budget read.
As for pharmaceutical costs, a hot issue amid uncertainties over cost gouging in the industry, the administration proposed various steps including offering HHS the power to mandate that drug companies reveal how they set drug costs.
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