ACP: Trump’s rescission package would harm public health
The American College of Physicians recently sent a letter to Congress indicating that slashing expenditures would impair access to health coverage, medical innovation and public health, according to a press release.
In early May, President Donald J. Trump sent Congress a rescission package with cuts to the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP), the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Innovation (CMMI), the Nonrecurring Expenses Fund (NEF) and the United States Agency for International Development’s (USAID) Ebola response.
In the letter, the American College of Physicians (ACP) objected to the cuts within the rescission package. Children’s health care coverage would be disrupted by cuts to CHIP and federal agencies may be unable to control federal health programs or aid in abrupt emergencies quickly if spending for the NEF is cut, according to ACP.
ACP also asserted that hampering USAID response would be detrimental, noting that the Democratic Republic of the Congo recently experienced an Ebola outbreak. Furthermore, in the letter, ACP restated the importance of CMMI in testing and expanding new models of care to advance quality, cost-effectiveness and patient-centered care.
“ACP believes it would be shortsighted to cut CMMI funding when the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) has concluded that for every CMMI dollar spent, almost four are saved, thus reducing federal spending by about $34 billion over 10 years,” Ana María López, MD, MPH, president of ACP, said in the letter.
ACP also opposed funding decisions that were not in line with the normal budget process.
“We are also concerned that rushing through a rescissions package outside of regular order — with no hearings or testimony or markups about the impact of these cuts, as is the case for annual appropriations bills — is a poor process for Congress to establish its budgetary priorities,” López said.
ACP urged congressional leadership to strive for bipartisan agreement on budget issues much like the latest budget deal that was passed earlier in the year.
“We urge you, as congressional leaders, to reject these proposed rescissions, and to refrain from bringing this to a vote,” López said. “Instead, we urge you to return to seeking agreement on bipartisan ways to fund the federal government.”
Disclosure: Healio Internal Medicine was unable to confirm relevant financial disclosures at the time of publication.