2017-03-16 14:33:27 UTC

President Trump’s Budget Provides a Blueprint for His Priorities

March 16, 2017

Congress ultimately makes appropriations. AGA will advocate for the needs of the GI community.

President Trump has released his proposed fiscal year 2018 budget for consideration by Congress. This is the first step in long process that seeks to translate the administration’s campaign themes into spending priorities. While the president recommends a budget proposal, Congress ultimately creates and passes the nation’s budgets, which is often decided after much discussion and negotiation.

The current budget proposal suggests significant spending cuts to a large number of federal programs to increase the budgets for the Department of Defense, Homeland Security and Veterans Affairs. The current proposal includes reductions in discretionary spending at HHS of 23 percent, which is estimated to be $65.1 billion, down from a total budget in 2016 of $84.6 billion. The suggested cut to the NIH budget is $5.8 billion, for a total budget of $25.9 billion. The proposed budget also increases the PDUFA fees for the FDA, which are under review this year, which would double the total to more than $2 billion.  

Funding for NIH is a bipartisan issue that usually receives broad support in Congress and both chairs of the Labor, HHS and Education Appropriations Subcommittee have come out in strong support for increased funding for NIH.  

The budget process is a long one and the president’s recommendations are just the beginning. AGA is on Capitol Hill daily coordinating with our champions in Congress to ensure that the concerns of GIs are being heard regarding issues that affect our members and our patients. We will continue to work diligently as an organization as well as in coordination with other organizations and as a member of a number of coalitions to reach out to Capitol Hill, regulators and payors to ensure that the future of GI practice and research remains viable.

Now is the time for AGA members to become even more involved.

Our impact lies in the strength of your involvement. You can help advocate for quality health care for your patients and influence health-care policy by understanding policies affecting your practice and patients, as well as research funding, and becoming involved with AGA — by participating in activities or contacting your local officials. Contact us to learn more about how to get involved in your community, and learn more about AGA PAC.

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