President to seek $54 billion in cuts to non-defense programs

LeadingAge is carefully watching developments around President Trump’s funding requests for fiscal year 2018 (FY18). On February 27, President Trump announced that he will request a $54 billion increase for defense spending and an equal cut to non-defense, discretionary programs. Where the $54 billion in cuts would come from remains to be seen; non-defense discretionary programs include those like housing, senior services, environmental, and education programs with current budget caps that provide flat funding for FY18 compared to FY17.

The announcement marks the beginning of the haggling, between the Administration and Congress, over what will eventually become appropriation levels for specific programs for the next fiscal year.

On the day of the announcement, agencies were also given "top line" budget amounts for FY18. Agencies, like HUD and HHS, will work with the White House's Office of Management and Budget on how to fit funding for their individual programs under their top line limits before delivering their specific request to Congress later this spring. Details on agencies’ top-line funding levels are expected the week of March 13, with more detail about request levels for specific programs coming later in March or possibly April. Once we hear more news, we'll be sure to share it.

MedPAC and MACPAC Meeting Updates

In a busy week for Congressional advisory commissions, both the Medicare Payment Advisory Commission (MedPAC) and the Medicare and CHIP Payment and Access Commission (MACPAC) are holding meetings this week on March 2 and 3. The topics that LeadingAge will be most focused on include:

From MedPAC


  • State Medicaid Responses to Fiscal Pressures
  • Congressionally Requested Study on Mandatory/Optional Benefits and Populations: Review of Methods, Limitations, and Policy Issues
  • Alternative Approaches to Medicaid Financing: Setting Per Capita Caps

Typically one week following the meetings, presentation slides and transcripts of the proceedings are available on each organization’s website. LeadingAge will prepare summaries of the application discussions subsequent to the meetings.

Congress Explores Medicaid Per Capita Caps

As part of the effort to repeal the Affordable Care Act (ACA), Congressional leaders have advanced ideas to change Medicaid’s financing structure to either block grants or per capita caps – with the latter idea seeming to gain ground lately. The following is our one-page summary excerpted from a recent article on per capita caps by the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities.

We continue our advocacy efforts on behalf of protecting Medicaid for older Americans and providers. We have activated the LeadingAge grassroots network, resulting in nearly 10,000 combined contacts with Congress; met with undecided members of the House and Senate; contacted every Member of Congress; and encouraged members to meet with their legislators in their state and district offices

We want to hear from you about the potential impact of changes to the Medicaid financing structure at your organization. Please email Niles Godes to share your story.

We will continue to keep you apprised as these legislative issues advance through the House and Senate.