The Biggest Loser(s)

MoneyWhile the goal on the popular television show is to be the biggest loser, that is not what you want to be when the President starts to swing the budget axe. President Trump released his 1.1 trillion dollar budget proposal today and according to KNAU Radio in Flagstaff, biomedical research and public health are among the biggest losers while fighting opioid abuse and mental health could get a budget boost.

The proposal promises:

  • A “major reorganization” in the National Institutes of Health, which supports most of the nation’s research on diseases and treatments. That includes a cut of $5.8 billion, about 20 percent of NIH’s $30 billion budget.
  • “Reform” of funding for the Centers for Disease and Prevention, which works to prevent, monitor and combat disease outbreaks. The budget mentions a $500 million block grant to states.
  • An additional $500 million for the Department of Health and Human Services to “expand opioid misuse prevention efforts and to increase access to treatment and recovery services to help Americans who are misusing opioids get the help they need.”
  • Investment in “mental health activities that are awarded to high-performing entities and focus on high priority areas, such as suicide prevention, serious mental illness, and children’s mental health.” No specifics are provided. added, “The Health and Human Services Department faces the biggest cut in dollars — 16.2 percent, or $12.6 billion — with funding eliminated for the Fogarty International Center, whose mission is to support global health. But the budget does address the nation’s growing opioid addiction epidemic with a proposed $500 million increase to the health department as well as more to the Justice Department.”

And from the Washington Post:

More than a third of the $15.1 billion in cuts would affect the National Institutes of Health, the government’s main engine of biomedical research, which has long enjoyed strong bipartisan support in Congress.

The new budget proposal could lead to some major health care changes, as could the proposed changes to Medicaid financing outlined in the new GOP health care bill. Daniel Derksen, MD, director of the Center for Rural Health at the University of Arizona, explains what it might mean to move from a matching fund system to a “per-capita cap” in the video below.


Whether it is the proposed budget, the proposed health law replacement, or changes to the way Medicaid works –  health and health care are among the hottest conversations in the country right now. We will continue to generate dialogue around these headline issues. It is another way we are working toward our long-term goal of one day making Arizona the Healthiest State in the Nation!



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