Concerns About Proposed FY18 Budget

Legislation | March 16, 2017 | by Barbara Gay

LeadingAge is deeply concerned about the fiscal 2018 budget proposal published today by the Office of Management and Budget.

The proposal calls for deep cuts to federal agencies responsible for programs that provide bedrock support for people to be able to remain in their homes and communities as they age.

Funding for federal housing programs would be reduced by 13% below the fiscal 2016 level. The OMB budget proposal provided no details on funding specifically for Section 202 senior housing, but an earlier document reported in the press discussed a $42 million cut in that program.

The budget blueprint calls for funding for the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) to be cut by $15.1 billion, or 18%. Specific reductions mentioned include significant cuts to the National Institutes of Health, which funds medical research, and the elimination of the Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program and Community Services Block Grants. Beyond those reductions, HHS would have to save another $5 billion, and we are most concerned about how funding for Older Americans Act programs (OAA) would fare. The Older Americans Act has received flat funding for the last several years even as the population needing the home- and community-based services provided through the OAA continues to grow rapidly.

We expect to see a more detailed budget proposal from the Trump Administration in May. We will work with the Administration and with members of Congress to ensure that federal programs serving people aged 65+ continue to receive essential resources to meet growing needs.