Wednesday, April 10, 2013

The FY2014 Budget: Strengthening Health and Opportunity for all Americans

Today, the President released a budget that strengthens the middle class, creates jobs and reduces the deficit in a balanced way. �The budget for the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) provides critical investments in health care, disease prevention, social services and scientific research to create healthier and safer families, stronger communities and a thriving America.�

First, our budget makes sure we can continue to implement the Affordable Care Act to give more Americans the security of affordable health coverage.� The health care law is already making a huge difference in Americans� lives, and more options for health insurance coverage are just around the corner.� Open enrollment for the new Health Insurance Marketplaces begins on October 1st of this year, and coverage will start on January 1, 2014.� This budget supports investments in the Health Insurance Marketplace and will ensure Americans in every state have somewhere they can go to get quality health insurance to fit their budget.

We�re also proposing a major new investment in programs to help identify mental health concerns early, improve access to mental health services and support safer school environments.�While we know that the vast majority of Americans who struggle with mental illness are not violent, recent tragedies have reminded us of the staggering toll that untreated mental illness takes on our society.�

Today�s budget supports the President�s call to provide every American child with access to high quality early learning services, so that our children gain the skills they need to do the jobs of tomorrow.� And it helps make America a magnet for jobs by securing America�s place as the world leader in science and technology, and supporting the groundbreaking research that will generate the treatments, vaccines, and cures of tomorrow.� The significant new investments this budget contains for the NIH reflect our commitment to furthering the biomedical research that will help create good new jobs and advance the cause of medical science.� That work will include projects like the human brain mapping initiative the President announced earlier this month

At the same time, the budget contributes to the President�s balanced plan to significantly reduce the deficit in the long term.� Due in part to the successful implementation of the Affordable Care Act, Medicare spending per beneficiary grew at a historically low rate of 0.4% in 2012.� The President's 2014 budget would achieve even more savings.� In total, the budget would build on the Affordable Care Act by generating an additional $370 billion in Medicare savings over the next decade, reducing the deficit and putting Medicare on sounder financial footing.

The FY 2014 Budget reflects our efforts to make cutting fraud, waste and abuse a top Administration priority.� We�re proposing an increase in mandatory funding for our Health Care Fraud and Abuse Control program�an initiative that last year saved the taxpayers nearly eight dollars for every dollar spent on it.� And we�re investing in additional efforts, including reducing improper Medicare, Medicaid, and CHIP payments, enhancing the investigative efforts of our Office of Inspector General.

What this all adds up to is a budget that will help HHS to pursue this Administration�s North Star of a thriving middle class.� It�s a budget that promotes job growth and bolsters the programs and investments American families count on to live healthy lives.� And it will keep our economy strong in the years to come, while also helping to bring down the deficit.

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