President Trump’s “Skinny” Budget Puts Health Care on a Diet

STAT article lists eight ways proposed cuts might affect public health

The 2018 budget proposed by President Donald Trump makes deep cuts across the health care industry, from cancer research to drug safety. An article posted on the STAT website focuses on eight ways the president’s recommendations might affect public health.

  • Domestic HIV/AIDS Programs

Proposed cuts for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) include a $186 million reduction in funding that affects the prevention of human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) infection and acquired immune deficiency syndrome (AIDS). In justifying its budget requirements, the CDC stated: “At the FY 2018 requested amount, CDC will reduce activities around testing, support services for persons living with HIV, and prevention services.”

  • Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion

The president’s proposed budget cuts $222 million, compared with 2017 spending levels, for disease-prevention and health-promotion programs. It eliminates $51 million for “racial and ethnic approaches to community health” programs and $18 million for cancer-prevention efforts.

  • Domestic CDC Preventive Health Programs

A total of $136 million would be cut from public health-preparedness and response programs. Most of that reduction ($107 million) would hit Public Health Emergency Preparedness Cooperative Agreements, a federal agreement with state and local governments to ensure that local public health departments have the resources to respond to a crisis.

  • International CDC Preventive Health Programs

The proposed State Department budget includes a $2 billion cut to global health assistance, which includes a $225 million reduction in the U.S. contribution to the Global Fund.

  • Mental health Services

The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration would see $116 million lopped off its mental-health services block grants, and an additional $136 million would be cut from “programs of regional and national significance.”

  • Community Services Block Grants

The budget for community services block grants issued by the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) would be slashed by $714 million, and the grants would be dropped entirely in 2018 under the president’s funding request.

  • Vaccines

The White House recommends an $89.5 million cut for federal participation in an immunization program. At the same time, an HHS “vaccines for children” line item would be boosted by $161 million.

  •  Childhood Exposure to Lead and Other Toxic Substances

The Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry would also go on the chopping block, with a recommended $13 million sliced from its $75 million allocation in 2017.

Source: STAT; May 24, 2017.