An Unhealthy Budget

  

President Donald Trump released his budget plan for fiscal year 2018 yesterday morning, presenting Congress with a blueprint for how he believes they should fund the federal government. Unfortunately the President’s proposed budget will weaken the nation’s health care system and jeopardize the scientific research that’s necessary to keep Americans healthy. The ANA opposes the President’s budget, and urges Congress to reject it in favor of a plan that doesn’t compromise health care in favor of political and partisan posturing.

Photo: Shawn Thew, European Pressphoto Agency
Photo: Shawn Thew, European Pressphoto Agency

The President’s budget, which represents his priorities but does not carry the power of the appropriations process controlled by Congress, makes a number of ill-considered cuts when it comes to the American health care system, including:

  • A $403 million reduction in funding for health professions and nursing workforce programs;
  • A $5.8 billion cut from the National Institutes of Health (NIH) budget, constituting a 22% reduction in funding for scientific research to find medical cures, and;
  • A decision to fold the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (ARHQ) into the NIH. Currently, AHRQ is the only federal agency mandated to conduct health services research.

“As the demand for high-quality health care intensifies, Congress must firmly invest in the nation’s largest health-care workforce, registered nurses. Decreasing funding by $403 million will significantly cripple efforts to effectively recruit, train and educate nurses for practice in rural and medically underserved communities,” said ANA President Pamela F. Cipriano, PhD, RN, NEA-BC, FAAN.

The ANA is instead urging Congress to provide $244 million to fund nursing workforce development programs, $160 million for the National Institute of Nursing Research, $380 million for the National Health Service Corps, and to restore AHRQ’s funding to at least $364 million in FY 2018.

Despite the organization’s concerns over these misguided cuts, the ANA does support the President’s call for a $500 million increase to expand opioid misuse prevention and treatment efforts.

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Author: Matthew Fitting

Matthew Fitting is an Advocacy and Engagement Specialist with the American Nurses Association.

3 thoughts on “An Unhealthy Budget”

  1. It is so important for ANA members to inform Congress to oppose these cuts and changes which jeopardize all Americans.
    Thank you for the information

  2. I have to say I am Trump supporter – but this makes no sense. One of the basic problems with ACA was that there was no infra-structure put into place before it became a mandate. Now President Trump is going to further hamper the infra-structure that is needed to provide care to all of these insured and newly insured people. Contact our congress is a must.

  3. As we advocate for increased availability of and. access to affordable health insurance, I find it curious that the issues iof “what” we are unable to pay for and whether or not the asking price is relaticelyu
    Iunquestioned. Perhaps we should instead be
    questioning the inflated costs of medical intervention and the iihsavings to be realized by increased utilization of advanced practice nurses for primary and specialty care.

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