Peek at Budget Expected on February 28

On February 28, the same day that President Donald Trump will give a speech to a joint session of Congress, he is also expected to release an overview of the Administration’s request for fiscal year 2018. LeadingAge is keeping an eye on actions the Trump Administration takes that signal what funding levels they hope to achieve for nondefense discretionary programs like housing and Older Americans Act-funded services for FY18 and beyond. President Trump has made clear his support for increasing defense spending but has not, since the campaign, indicated what his Administration will seek for nondefense spending. Early reports indicate that whatever is released in late February will be a “skinny” or brief overview of the Administration’s FY18 request, with more details to follow in April or May.

Congressional Hearings: Affordable Care Act and Medicaid

This week, committees in the House and Senate are holding hearings on various provisions of the Affordable Care Act and on the Medicaid program. Congressional leadership is still committed to repealing portions of the Affordable Care Act through the budget process, but so far has not settled on a replacement strategy. The ACA hearings focus on specific parts of the legislation, including the status of the individual health market, and on broader solutions, for example, examining “patient-centered” approaches to healthcare. The Medicaid hearings address oversight, and specific legislation closing loopholes in eligibility.

President Issues a New Executive Order

The Administration continues to issue Presidential Memoranda and Executive Orders. The most recent order instructs all agencies to identify two regulations to be repealed for each new proposed regulation (pursuant to the usual notice and comment requirements) and sets limits on costs associated with regulations. The Office of Management and Budget is tasked with implementing the order. We really won’t know until the agencies have leadership how the order will work in practice and which regulations will be affected, since not all regulations increase costs.