Proposed Trump Budget Punts On Healthcare Reform, Drug Pricing Policy
Source: Modern Healthcare, by Rachel Cohrs
President Donald Trump on Monday unveiled his fiscal 2021 budget plan to Congress, which is devoid of details on two of the most prominent healthcare policy issues on the 2020 campaign trail: large-scale healthcare reform and prescription drug pricing.
The president’s budget is largely a messaging document, and Congress is not obligated to follow his recommendations. However, it provides insight into Trump’s healthcare priorities ahead of the 2020 presidential election.
In contrast, Trump last year proposed a laundry list of 25 policies to reduce prescription drug costs.
Overall, Trump proposed significant domestic spending cuts, including a 9% cut to HHS. The Veterans Affairs Department, however, would get a 13% funding increase.
Trump’s healthcare budget would impose work requirements for food stamps and Medicaid nationwide. The administration also proposed allowing the CMS to conduct more frequent eligibility checks for Medicaid enrollees.
Other Trump budget requests include a funding increase of $24 million to improve oversight of the 340B drug discount program, a continuation of cuts to Medicaid disproportionate-share hospital payments from 2025 through 2030, provider-level transparency on Medicaid supplemental payments, limiting total payments for uncompensated care, site-neutral payment policies for some physician services administered in hospital outpatient departments, eliminating bad debt for payments to DSH-eligible hospitals, and reducing payment for some hospice services provided in skilled-nursing facilities. Several of these policies were also included in HHS’ fiscal 2020 budget request.
The left-leaning Center on Budget and Policy Priorities and the Federation of American Hospitals, which represents for-profit hospitals, both denounced the budget proposal.
“The arbitrary cuts to health care programs envisioned in the budget will make the job of America’s caregivers much more difficult. This proposal combined with already issued regulations will result in a reduction in coverage, putting the health care of millions of patients at risk,” Federation CEO Chip Kahn said.