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Michael Petruzzelli

, National Council for Mental Wellbeing

President Requests Deep Cuts to Medicaid, Health Programs in FY2018

May 25, 2017 | Federal Budget | Medicaid | Comments
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This week, President Trump called for deep cuts to Medicaid, key health programs and non-defense spending in his budget request for FY2018. The budget request, “A New Foundation for American Greatness”, calls for the restructuring of Medicaid, while also dramatically cutting funding for key mental health and addiction programs through the Department of Health and Human Services.



President Trump’s budget request for Fiscal Year 2018 calls for restructuring the Medicaid program from a federal-state match entitlement to a capped program via a block grant or per capita caps. This approach mirrors the one put forth in the House-passed American Health Care Act. Due to changes in calculating the capped per-enrollee rate, the budget is projected cut an additional $600 billion from Medicaid funding over the next decade. The American Health Care Act would cut $834 billion over the same time frame.

It is important to note that the President’s budget request is a proposal for Congress to consider. It is the role of Congress, not the President, to draft and pass a budget. Further, the President and his administration do not have the power to unilaterally restructure the Medicaid program as proposed. Any such structural changes on how the program is operated or funded would need to be approved by a majority vote in Congress.

The proposed budget also cuts over $74 billion from Social Security’s programs, including Social Security Old-Age, Survivors’, and Disability Insurance, as well as Supplemental Security Income (SSI). Between the proposed cuts, punitive work requirements and other harsh measures, benefits would be slashed or cut entirely for the extremely low-income seniors, children and adults with significant disabilities (including mental illness) who rely on them.




President Trump’s FY2018 Budget Request (in millions) Difference vs. FY2017 Enacted (in millions)
Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration $3,776 -$400
Mental Health Block Grant $416 -$116
Substance Abuse Prevention and Treatment Block Grant $1,877 level funding
Primary and Behavioral Health Care Integration and Technical Assistance and Training Center $0.0 Program eliminated
Mental Health First Aid $0.0 Program eliminated
National Institutes of Health $26,920 -$5,673
White House Office of National Drug Control Policy $18 -$2
Opioid State Grants authorized by the 21st Century Cures Act $500 level funding
Programs authorized by Comprehensive Addiction and Recovery Act $128 -$25


“The budget released [this week] by the President is deeply troubling, and signals the intent to move the country backward, not forward, in treating our most vulnerable citizens,” the National Council for Mental Wellbeing said in a statement. “Congress has made great bipartisan strides in recent years, providing more care for those with mental illnesses and addiction, including the passage of the Comprehensive Addiction and Recovery Act and the 21st Century Cures Act. We should be building on this progress, not tearing it down.”

The National Council remains diligent in its advocacy on Capitol Hill to fight these proposed cuts and to build bipartisan support for lifesaving mental health and addiction programs. We ask all advocates to continue to support this campaign and join us in our efforts to Unite4BH. Taking action is easy and your advocacy now will protect programs and funding that save lives every day. Click here to get started.