Advocating for Children, Families and Communities

Below is our latest advocacy alert for the Healthy Families Network. This alert was published on May 26, 2017.

ALERT: The President's Budget

The President's FY 18 Budget, "A New Foundation for American Greatness," can be found by clicking here. The Trump Administration budget proposal includes a dramatic reduction of the U.S. government's role in society with $3.6 trillion in spending cuts over the next 10 years in a budget plan that shrinks the safety net for the poor. The proposal's calls to slash Medicaid payments, increase monthly student loan payments and cut food stamps and agricultural subsidies. Details include:

  • Reauthorizes MIECHV for two years at level funding with a slight increase in funding ($28 million). However, it is unclear whether sequestration is built into the assumption and therefore if funding for two years is, in fact, flat or even reduced. I am trying to seek clarity from Hill staffers and expect the budget justifications, likely to be released later today, to help clarify as well.
  • Reduces the CDC's FY 2018 program level to $5.975 billion. This nearly a - $1.2 billion reduction from the FY 2017 omnibus level of $7.165 billion
    • $8.6 M cut for Injury Prevention Activities, which includes the Core State Violence and Injury Prevention Program and suicide prevention; and a $9M cut for Injury Control Research Centers (program elimination). Additionally, this budget does not reflect the $50M funding increase Congress appropriated in FY17 for opioid overdose prescription overdose and illicit opioid use risk factorsIn total, this budget proposes a 25 percent cut from FY17 ($288M) down to $216M for the CDC Injury Center. 
  • Includes a $30 million bump for Title V MCH Block Grant and $10 million more for Healthy Start. However, the justification is clear that these come at the expense of $103 million in MCHB program reductions - the largest ofwhich is $40 million for autism.
  • Decreases the Child Care Development Block Grant (CCDBG) by $95M in cuts
  • Cuts nearly $200 billion from food assistance
  • Eliminates the Social Services Block Grant (SSBG)
  • Includes $9.168 billion for Head Start - a reduction of $85 million
  • Includes a proposal for six-week paid leave to any new parent. However it seems to pass the logistical and financial responsibility of implementing any new program on to the states. I will report more on this as I dive into the details.
  • Maintain level funding for CAPTA

The HHS budget proposal includes $250 billion in net savings tied to repeal ofAffordable Care Act.  It also includes:

  • $610b in Medicaid savings by moving to a per-capita cap or block grant starting in fiscal 2020
  • Medical liability reforms estimated to save government $55.8b 
  • Sharp cuts to research including National Institutes of Health 
  • Two-year extension of Children's Health Insurance Program, proposal says future of program to be "addressed alongside other health reforms"

Some thoughts and takeaways: It is important to note that last week Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell has already said he expects the Republican-led Congress to largely ignore the proposal. While the budget includes good news for MIECHV, lots of other programs, services, nonprofits, agencies, etc., are slated for devastating cuts. They are taking from other programs we care about to pay for others.

We will continue to monitor the news coming from D.C. and will keep you informed.

We Need Your Voice!

Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-IA) speaks to a crowd of Healthy Families staff at our 2015 Hill Day advocacy event.

Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-IA) speaks to a crowd of Healthy Families staff at our 2015 Hill Day advocacy event.

The Maternal, Infant, and Early Childhood Home Visiting (MIECHV) program supports families with millions of home visits that strengthen families and communities across the United States.

Without reauthorization, these necessary services will be cut for families in need and programs will be unable to reach more families. Congress must extend the MIECHV program in order to keep these critical services going for families nationwide. We are asking for five years of funding with incremental increases until the program reaches the funding level of $800 million per year. We believe this is the best way to ensure stability for families, effectiveness of programs, and expansion of resources.

We need your voice. Do you want to make a difference? Contact your local legislators and let them know that you support MIECHV and programs and services like Healthy Families America!  For more information, visit the Home Visiting Coalition.