HHS Budget Cuts – Too Early To Draw ConclusionsRobert M. Goldman, CFA
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Today, President Trump unveiled his budget proposals for Fiscal (October) 2018. The budget is entitled, “America First. A Budget Blueprint to Make America Great Again.” Actually, these were proposals for the discretionary portion ($1.1 trillion) of the national budget (about $4 trillion). Entitlements and interest on the national debt represent the far majority of the national budget.
The President proposes only three U.S. government departments, Defense, Veterans Affairs, and Homeland Security, be given more funding in 2018 as compared to 2017. All other departments’ funding are cut or eliminated.
Relative to the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), the President’s 2018 budget requests $69.0 billion, a $15.1 billion or 17.9 percent decrease from the 2017 level. And, within HHS, the budget reduces the National Institutes of Health’s (NIH) budget by $5.8 billion to $25.9 billion. Moreover, the budget recalibrates Food and Drug Administration (FDA) medical product user fees to over $2 billion in 2018, approximately $1 billion over the 2017 level, and replaces the need for new budget authority to cover pre-market review costs.
As readers ponder the impact of this proposed budget, we encourage folks to keep in mind that this budget is a first proposal – democratic debate will and should now ensue. And, we all recognize that the government budget is funded by you and I – and moving some of that money back to the people who worked for it might have private sector economic stimulative impacts which offset at least some of the government budget cuts.
We think it’s too early to draw conclusions, but we do have a tremendous confidence that America and collectively American business will thrive whatever the challenges.