President Biden Releases 2023 Budget Proposal

By: Jennifer Dexter, Assistant Vice President, Policy 

On March 28, President Biden released a proposed $5.8 trillion budget for fiscal year 2023. The annual release of the President’s budget proposal is the beginning of a long Congressional process. The most important part of any President’s budget proposal is outlining the overall funding numbers that often serve as the ceiling for Congress. It also describes the key priorities, even those outside the annual appropriations process, that the President is asking Congress to consider. Some highlights of the 2023 budget proposal that would impact the patient advocacy community include: 

  • A $53 billion funding increase for the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) focused on: 
    • Increasing health equity; 
    • Improving Medicaid and the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP); 
    • Addressing fraud and abuse; 
    • Expanding telehealth; 
    • Strengthening the Marketplace for insurance coverage authorized under the Affordable Care Act (ACA); 
    • Addressing maternal health; and 
    • Growing the health care workforce. 
  • $81.7 billion over five years to bolster pandemic preparedness and biodefense including: 
    • $28 billion for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to overhaul its health data; 
    • $9.9 billion toward boosting state and local health departments capacity; and 
    • $12.1 billion for the National Institutes of Health to research and develop vaccines, tests, and treatments for biological threats. 
  • Funding and authority for increased access to mental health services, including a provision that all private health plans cover mental health and substance use disorder and enforcement of the requirement that mental health be covered in parity with other health care services. 
  • A $1.6 million increase for federal review of Section 1115 waivers that provide states flexibility to waive certain rules and test innovative approaches to providing Medicaid coverage. 

Congress will now begin a series of hearings and legislative work to develop a 2023 spending package that will have to pass both the House and Senate before it is sent to President Biden for his signature. The new fiscal year begins on October 1, 2022, and hope springs eternal that an agreement will be reached by that date without Congress needing to pass an extension or the government shutting down.