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HHS FY 2017 Budget in Brief

Read the full Budget in Brief

FY 2017 President's Budget for HHS

(Dollars in Millions)

  2015 2016 2017
Budget Authority 1,045,210 1,116,973 1,150,252
Total Outlays 1,027,559 1,110,562 1,144,801
Full‑Time Equivalents (FTE) 75,567 77,583 79,406

FY 2017 Budget in Brief Overview Pie Chart

General Notes

Details in this document may not add to the totals due to rounding. Budget data in this book are presented “comparably” to the FY 2017 Budget, since the location of programs may have changed in prior years or be proposed for change in FY 2017. This approach allows increases and decreases in this book to reflect true funding changes.

The FY 2016 and FY 2017 mandatory figures reflect current law and mandatory proposals reflected in the Budget.

Advancing the Health, Safety, and Well-Being of the Nation

The Department of Health and Human Services enhances the health and well-being of Americans by providing for effective health and human services and by fostering sound, sustained advances in the sciences underlying medicine, public health, and social services.

The Budget for the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) continues and expands on critical investments in health care, scientific research, medical innovation, disease prevention, early education, social services, human development, and emergency preparedness to protect the health and well-being of the American people.

The President’s fiscal year (FY) 2017 Budget for HHS includes investments needed to support the health and well being of the nation and legislative proposals that taken together would save on net an estimated $242 billion over 10 years. The Budget proposes $82.8 billion in discretionary budget authority and additional mandatory funding to further support specific initiatives in the discretionary budget. With this funding, HHS will continue to create opportunities for all Americans by ensuring the building blocks for success are available at every stage of life, promote science and innovation, protect the nation’s public health and national security, and focus on the responsible stewardship of taxpayer dollars.

Building Upon the Success of the Affordable Care Act

The Affordable Care Act is working to expand health insurance coverage to millions of Americans, including many gaining coverage and access to health care for the first time. The Budget builds on the successes of the Affordable Care Act by extending funding for the Children’s Health Insurance Program, improving and expanding coverage provided to American Indians and Alaska Natives through the Indian Health Service (IHS), expanding capacity in the nation’s health centers, making strategic investments in the health care workforce to increase access for rural and underserved populations, and targeting Medicare and Medicaid payments to better support primary and preventive care. The Budget continues to make investments in federal public health and safety net programs to help individuals without coverage get the medical services they need while strengthening local economies.

Expanding Access to Health Insurance Coverage

The Affordable Care Act is making quality, affordable health coverage available to millions of Americans who would otherwise be uninsured through the expansion of Medicaid, the Marketplaces, and other private insurance reforms. As a result, nearly 18 million Americans have gained coverage since enactment of the Affordable Care Act. As of January 2016, 30 states and the District of Columbia have elected to expand Medicaid to low income adults with household income up to 133 percent of the federal poverty level (Louisiana will make the 31st state). To encourage more states to take up this important option, the Budget would give any state that chooses to expand Medicaid eligibility three years of full federal support, no matter when the state expands. This common sense proposal makes expansion as good of a deal for states that choose to expand now as states that have already done so. Finally, the Budget includes an additional two years of funding for the Children’s Health Insurance Program through FY 2019 to align with the maintenance of effort requirement and ensure comprehensive and affordable coverage for beneficiaries as well as budgetary stability for states.

Health Centers

For 50 years, health centers have delivered comprehensive, high-quality, cost-effective primary health care to patients regardless of their ability to pay. Throughout this time, health centers have become an essential primary care provider for the nation’s most vulnerable populations. Today, more than 1,300 health centers operate over 9,000 service delivery sites and provide health care services to 1 in 14 people in the United States. The Budget invests $5.1 billion for health centers, including $3.75 billion in mandatory resources, to serve over 27 million patients in FY 2017.

Strengthening the National Health Service Corps

Since its inception, the National Health Service Corps has worked to build healthy communities by supporting qualified health care providers dedicated to working in areas across the country with limited access to primary care. The Budget invests $380 million for the National Health Service Corps for FY 2017, which includes $70 million in additional mandatory and discretionary funding for behavioral health and opioid treatment initiatives. Specifically, this investment will place providers in rural areas and other underserved communities to expand access to mental health care and support and medication-assisted treatment and training to address opioid and heroin abuse.

Expanding Access to Health Care in Indian Country

The FY 2017 Budget continues the Administration’s commitment to combat health disparities and ensure tribal communities lead healthy lives. The Budget funds IHS at $6.6 billion, an increase of $402 million over FY 2016. Since 2008, funding for IHS has increased by 53 percent. The Budget seeks to address and improve the health disparities faced by American Indian and Alaskan Natives, especially in the critical area of behavioral health. Significant new behavioral health investments will support innovative approaches to reduce rates of substance abuse, improve access to mental health services, and prevent suicide. The Budget prioritizes self-determination by fully funding contract support costs, which provides critical funding to Tribes who operate facilities under self-determination and self-governance agreements. Other increases include funding for new facilities, staffing and operations of new and replacement facilities opening between FY 2016 and FY 2017, and critical investments in Health Information Technology to improve the quality of health services and enhance care coordination.

The Budget provides $15 million in additional funding, for a program total of $29 million, to expand the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) Comprehensive Approach to Good Health and Wellness in Indian Country. CDC works collaboratively with Tribes, tribal organizations, and Tribal Epidemiology Centers to prevent heart disease, diabetes, stroke, and associated risk factors, such as tobacco. This funding will expand existing efforts to address these diseases and risk factors, in addition to other critical problems within this population, including suicide, prescription drug overdose, and alcohol-related motor vehicle injuries. This funding contributes to Department-wide tribal health and well-being efforts, which aim to improve health outcomes for American Indian and Alaskan Native populations.

Strengthening Health Programs in Puerto Rico and the U.S. Territories

The Budget removes the cap on funding to Medicaid programs in Puerto Rico and the U.S. Territories to better align territory Medicaid programs with those in states and expands eligibility to 100 percent of the federal poverty level in territories currently below that level. This proposal would gradually increase the share of Medicaid costs covered by the federal government as Puerto Rico and the Territories modernize their Medicaid programs. The proposal would provide critical healthcare funding to Puerto Rico and help mitigate the effects of its fiscal crisis. Additionally, the Budget proposes to change the formula for calculating Medicare Disproportionate Share Hospital payments which will provide an increased reimbursement to hospitals that treat a high proportion of low-income patients.

Delivery System Reform

HHS is focused on finding better ways to deliver care, pay providers, and distribute information. The Budget includes targeted proposals that focus on improving care for all Americans and spending federal dollars more wisely.


HHS has introduced proposals that will reward value and care coordination, rather than volume and care duplication. The Budget includes proposals to establish competitive bidding for Medicare Advantage payments and to introduce value-based purchasing for certain Medicare providers. These proposals are designed to increasingly align payments with costs and link payments to quality and value. The Budget also encourages participation in alternative payment models through a number of proposals, including creating a bonus payment for hospitals that cooperate with certain alternative payment models. The Budget also streamlines quality reporting and measurement by establishing a hospital wide readmissions reduction measure.

Care Delivery

To drive progress in the way care is provided, HHS is focused on improving the coordination and integration of health care, engaging patients more fully in decision-making, and improving the health of patients, with an emphasis on prevention and wellness. The Budget proposes to expand the ability of Medicare Advantage plans to deliver services via telehealth and enable rural health clinics and federally qualified health centers to qualify as originating telehealth sites under Medicare.


In an effort to promote transparency on price, cost, and billing for consumers, the Budget supports the standardization of billing documents and eliminating surprise out-of-network charges for privately insured patients receiving care at an in-network facility.


The Budget also provides continued investments to achieve secure, seamless data interoperability in order to better serve caregivers, providers, payers, public health officials, scientists, and ultimately enhance health for all Americans. Specifically, the Budget proposes an increase of $22 million and new authorities for the Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology (ONC) to strengthen patient safety and quality of care through the nationwide advancement of interoperability, reliability, and usability of health information technology.

By combating information blocking, expanding transparency, developing a public-private partnership between health IT stakeholders, and implementing governance activities that establish standards for health IT entities, ONC will work towards a fully-integrated health IT infrastructure that protects and empowers patients.

Building Evidence to Drive Systemic Improvement Reforming the delivery system requires an evidence base of effective practices. To further develop this evidence, the Budget proposes an increase of $24 million for health services research at the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ). AHRQ evaluates alternative payment systems, preventive treatment guidelines, emerging medical technologies, and new threats to patient safety. AHRQ is a key supplier of practical and effective care re-design strategies that are implemented on a large scale by other HHS Operating Divisions, such as the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS), to drive nationwide improvement. The Budget invests $9 million in a new AHRQ project to better coordinate care for patients with multiple chronic conditions by developing and piloting tools based on integrated care plans, a new model that has demonstrated potential to make treatment regimens more comprehensive, responsive, and easier to adopt. AHRQ’s project is designed to produce better outcomes for these patients and build evidence improvement strategies that can be applied across the country.

Reducing the Cost of Prescription Drugs in Medicaid and Medicare

The effect of high and rising drug prices on beneficiary costs and access to medications is one of the most urgent issues for patients and their families in today’s health care system. Drug spending increased by 12.2 percent in 2014, making it the state and federal governments’ fastest growing healthcare cost. HHS brought stakeholders together last fall to discuss opportunities to improve patient access to affordable prescription drugs, develop innovative purchasing strategies, and incorporate value-based and outcomes-based models into purchasing programs in both the public and private sectors. The FY 2017 President’s Budget builds on this work with a number of proposals to improve the access and value Americans get from their medications, without discouraging important and lifesaving innovations.

Improving Healthcare for Dual-Eligible Beneficiaries

A disproportionate share of individuals enrolled in both Medicaid and Medicare have complex and often costly health care needs. With the passage of the Affordable Care Act, the Administration introduced multiple initiatives that vastly improved the coordination of care for dual-eligible beneficiaries, but there is still a lot that remains to be done. The FY 2017 President’s Budget includes a series of legislative proposals to improve access to care for dual-eligible beneficiaries, while decreasing overlap and inefficiencies that currently exist between the two payors. This effort includes creating an integrated appeals process for dual-eligible beneficiaries, simplifying the process for receiving Medicare Savings Program benefits, coordinating review of dual-eligible special needs plans marketing materials, and making sure low-income individuals newly-eligible for Medicare have Part D coverage during their transition between payors and plans.

Keeping People Healthy and Safe

Combating Antibiotic-Resistant Bacteria

The emergence of antibiotic-resistant bacteria continues to be one of the most significant public health concerns of our time. Without aggressive intervention, even minor infections may become life threatening and put at risk our ability to perform routine surgeries or treat diseases like diabetes and cancer. The FY 2017 Budget includes $877 million, an increase of $43 million, across the National Institutes of Health (NIH), CDC, the Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), AHRQ, and the Office of Global Affairs to continue expanding the nation’s ability to fight antibiotic resistance, aligning with the Administration’s National Action Plan for Combating Antibiotic-Resistant Bacteria. These critical investments will protect patients and communities by implementing interventions that reduce the emergence and spread of antibiotic-resistant pathogens. In addition, this funding will support ongoing groundbreaking research to aid the development of new drugs and diagnostic products, building the nation’s treatment options for these dangerous pathogens.

Medical Product Safety and Availability

FDA ensures the safety, quality, and effectiveness of a broad scope of medical products. Within medical devices alone, FDA has oversight of at least 6,000 different product categories. FDA carries out these responsibilities while also leading the world in both numbers of new drugs approved and in the timeliness of their reviews. In 2015 alone, FDA approved 56 novel drugs and biological products. The Budget includes $2.8 billion, an increase of $116 million above FY 2016, to continue core medical product safety activities across FDA programs, including improving patient safety, developing the necessary infrastructure for a safer and more modern drug supply, and continuing expanded and improved oversight of human drug compounding.

Emergency Preparedness

Across multiple HHS programs, the Department supports life-saving preparedness and response activities aimed at addressing chemical, biological, radiological, and nuclear threats, as well as other disasters, outbreaks, and epidemics. Whether the hazard is naturally occurring, accidental, or intentional, effective public health emergency response depends on maintaining and constantly improving the preparedness capabilities of public health departments and healthcare facilities at a state and local level. The FY 2017 Budget includes $915 million in total for CDC and the Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response (ASPR) for these activities, which is $2 million above FY 2016. This funding will provide ongoing support to the Hospital Preparedness Program, the Public Health Emergency Preparedness program, and Global Health Protection. The Global Health Protection funding includes a $5 million increase for CDC to expand the Global Health Security Agenda to additional Phase Two countries around the world to prevent, detect, and respond to emerging outbreaks and public health threats.

Food Safety

Each year, 48 million people suffer due to a foodborne illness. The resulting direct medical costs, including hospitalizations, exceed $300 million annually. The Administration continues its commitment to modernize the nation’s food safety system to one that prevents foodborne illness outbreaks and is positioned to meet the challenges of the global market. The Budget includes $1.6 billion, an increase of $212 million above FY 2016, to support FDA and CDC activities that will develop and strengthen an integrated and prevention based food safety system. The FY 2017 Budget includes $1.5 billion for FDA to support implementation of the Food Safety Modernization Act, including increasing state capacity to implement the produce safety rules, implementing the Foreign Supplier Verification Program, and ensuring consumers are able to make healthy food choices. The Budget also includes $52 million for CDC activities which will help address the critical unmet needs in the nation’s food supply safety system by focusing on monitoring, surveillance, data analysis, and dissemination of technical guidance, training, and technology to state health departments.

Mental and Other Behavioral Health Investments

The Affordable Care Act expanded behavioral health coverage for millions of Americans by putting an end to insurance company discrimination based on pre-existing conditions, requiring coverage of mental health and substance abuse disorder services, and expanding behavioral health parity, which have improved access to mental and other behavioral health services for more than 60 million Americans. Despite these gains, less than half of children and adults with diagnosable mental health issues receive the treatment they need. To address this gap, the Budget proposes a two-year initiative to expand access to mental health services financed with $500 million in new mandatory funding. This initiative supports additional states in the Certified Community Behavioral Health Clinic demonstration, increases access to early intervention programs that address serious mental illness, expands the behavioral health workforce in areas experiencing shortages of providers, prevents suicide, and enhances behavioral health services in Indian Country. In addition to this initiative, the Budget makes other investments in behavioral health and includes a total increase of $530 million in FY 2017. This funding will help ensure that the behavioral health care system works for everyone, expand service and workforce capacity, and engage individuals with serious mental illness in care.

Ensuring that Behavioral Health Care Systems Work for Everyone

The Budget includes a total of $239 million in FY 2017, an increase of $135 million, to expand access to behavioral health services for all Americans. These investments expand the number of states participating in the Certified Community Behavioral Health Clinic Demonstration established by section 223 of the Protecting Access to Medicare Act of 2014, through the Mental Health Initiative. In addition, the Budget includes funding to implement the recommendations of the National Strategy for Suicide Prevention through a new Zero Suicide Initiative, and reduce key risk factors for suicide by increasing referral and treatment for suicidal behavior. In addition, the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) will expand the Project AWARE State Grants Program, to serve four million children by improving local coordination of resources and responses to youth with signs of mental illness. The Budget also proposes to add certain behavioral health providers to the Medicare and Medicaid Electronic Health Record Incentive Programs, which is a necessary first step to realizing the goal of fully integrating and coordinating behavioral health and medical care.

Capacity and Workforce

The Budget includes an additional $82 million in FY 2017, for a total of $132 million, for programs that expand, train, and improve the behavioral health workforce to ensure it is able to meet the nation’s mental health treatment needs. These increases include $45 million in FY 2017 to support additional loan repayment awards for behavioral health clinicians, providing a significant increase in the number of behavioral health professionals practicing in underserved communities. This $45 million increase includes $20 million in new discretionary resources and $25 million in new mandatory funding through the Mental Health Initiative.

The Budget also provides $6 million in new funding for the Behavioral Health Workforce Education and Training program. Since this program was established in FY 2014, SAMHSA has partnered with the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) to administer the program, which works to expand the behavioral health workforce by supporting clinical training for behavioral health professionals. In FY 2017, this funding will support an additional 2,650 behavioral health professionals, and 2,750 additional paraprofessionals. In addition, the Budget proposes to establish a new $10 million Peer Professionals program in SAMHSA to increase the number of peers, recovery coaches, mental health/addiction specialists, prevention specialists, and pre-Master’s level counselors.

Engaging Individuals with Serious Mental illness in Care

When individuals face unmet behavioral health needs, as well as chronic conditions, the challenges, costs, and likelihood of poor outcomes multiply. Individuals facing these dual health issues are at risk for decreased length and quality of life, increased functional impairment, and cost to themselves and their communities. Patients diagnosed with a serious mental illness, who are among the least likely to seek treatment, die 8 years earlier than other Americans.

The Budget includes an additional $312 million in FY 2017, for a total of $377 million, for programs to better engage these individuals in care. Within this amount, the Budget proposes $115 million in new mandatory investments in FY 2017 as part of the Mental Health Initiative to support a formula grant for states to implement evidence-based early intervention programs for individuals with serious mental illness. This program builds on research from the National Institute of Mental Health, showing that earlier intervention leads to better outcomes. The Budget also establishes a competitive grant program in SAMHSA to help communities build, fund, and sustain crisis response systems capable of preventing and de-escalating behavioral health crises and coordinating post-crisis services to mitigate recurrence and inpatient bed demand. Additionally, SAMHSA will establish a new set aside within Children's Mental Health Services to test new interventions that include youth and young adults at risk of or before the first episode of psychosis.

This funding also supports CDC’s implementation and evaluation of a comprehensive suicide prevention program in partnership state health departments. This program will focus on reducing key risk factors by increasing referral and treatment for suicidal behavior and addressing access to lethal means for individuals at greatest risk for harming self and others.

Tribal Behavioral Health

The FY 2017 Budget includes +$67 million in new investments to address high rates of mental illness, substance abuse, and suicide in tribal communities. Substance abuse and suicide rates are significantly higher among American Indian and Alaska Native people than the broader U.S. population. These serious behavioral health issues have a deep impact on the health and well-being of individuals, families, and communities, both on and off reservations. The FY 2017 Budget proposes a series of new investments to help close the gap in behavioral health disparities experienced by American Indians and Alaska Natives. Targeted efforts within IHS, SAMHSA and CDC support new approaches to reduce rates of substance abuse, improve access to mental health services, and prevent suicide. Within these increases, the Budget includes $21 million to integrate primary and behavioral health care in the IHS system, and $15 million for Generation Indigenous to improve access to behavioral health treatment for Native Youth in partnership with SAMHSA. Further, the Budget proposes $15 million for a new crisis response fund to assist tribes experiencing behavioral health crises as part of the Mental Health Initiative. In addition, the Budget includes $4 million to implement the Zero Suicide initiative in IHS facilities. Finally, the Budget includes $2 million in new funding to support aftercare pilots for Native Youth who have been discharged from Youth Regional Treatment Centers.

Preventing Prescription Opioid and Heroin Overdose

Deaths involving opioids, a class of drugs that include prescription pain relievers and heroin, have quadrupled between 2002 and 2014, claiming the lives of 78 Americans each day. The Administration proposes a new $1 billion 2 year initiative to expand access to treatment for prescription drug abuse and heroin use. This funding will support cooperative agreements to states to expand access to treatment, increase access to medication-assisted treatment providers through the NHSC, and evaluate the outcomes of medication-assisted treatment. The Budget also includes other investments for a total increase of $559 million in FY 2017 for programs to address the opioid abuse, misuse, and overdose crisis. These efforts will help ensure that every American who wants opioid treatment will be able to access it and get the help they need.

Improving Prescribing Practices

While actions to address prescription opioid abuse must target both prescribers and high-risk patients, prescribers are the gatekeepers for preventing inappropriate access. Interventions to improve safe and appropriate prescribing must balance the use of these drugs for legitimate pain management with the need to curb dangerous practices. Within this priority area the Budget includes $18 million in additional funding above FY 2016, for a total of $85 million, for programs that support improved prescribing practices. This investment includes $13 million in additional funding, for a total of $80 million, for CDC to support improved uptake of CDC’s new “Guideline for Prescribing Opioids for Chronic Pain” among providers, and also apply its scientific expertise to identify risk factors for initiating heroin use to best prioritize prevention efforts throughout the Department. The Budget also includes a $5 million increase for a new effort at ONC to improve clinical decision-making, and further the adoption of electronic prescribing of controlled substances.

Finally, the Budget proposes to require states to track high prescribers and utilizers of prescription drugs in Medicaid. By requiring states to identify and remediate prescribing and utilization patterns that may indicate abuse or excessive utilization of certain prescription drugs in the Medicaid program, this proposal would improve program integrity, save $770 million over 10 years, and bolster other efforts to reduce abuse of prescription drugs.

Expanding the Development and Use of Naloxone

Responders to an overdose in progress have little time to effectively reverse the effects of an opioid and save a life. To best prepare communities and first responders for this contingency, the Budget includes $10 million in additional funding above FY 2016, for a total of $22 million, for programs that support the development and use of naloxone. SAMHSA will continue to provide $12 million for Grants to Prevent Prescription Drug/Opioid Overdose-Related Deaths, which equips first responders with the lifesaving overdose reversal drug naloxone and education on its use. The Budget also includes $10 million in HRSA for the Rural Opioid Overdose Reversal Grant program to target these efforts specifically to rural areas hit hardest by opioid addiction.

Expanding the Use of Medication-Assisted Treatment

Medication Assisted Treatment is a proven intervention for opioid addiction for many patients. The Budget proposes a new, two-year $1 billion mandatory investment to expand access to treatment for opioid addiction and close the treatment gap. Of this amount, $460 million per year, for a total of $920 million, will support a new State Targeted Behavioral Health Program, to support states in removing barriers preventing individuals from seeking treatment and successfully achieving recovery. This funding, combined with an additional $25 million in discretionary funding, will enable all individuals with opioid use disorder who are seeking or can be persuaded to seek treatment to get the help they need by reducing the cost of treatment, expanding access to treatment, reducing barriers to implementation of medication-assisted treatment, engaging patients in treatment, and addressing stigmas associated with treatment. Within the new mandatory funding provided for the National Health Service Corps, $25 million in FY 2017 and FY 2018 will be used by HRSA to increase the number of behavioral health professionals able to provide evidence-based interventions through investments including enhanced loan repayment to clinicians with medication-assisted treatment training and certification. HHS will monitor the effectiveness of medication-assisted treatment programs employing different treatment modalities under real-world conditions. In partnership with the Department of Justice, HHS will implement a new, $10 million Buprenorphine-Prescribing Authority demonstration to expand the types of providers who can prescribe medication assisted treatment.

Addressing Over Prescription of Psychotropic Medications to Children in Foster Care

The Budget includes $500 million for a CMS demonstration in partnership with the Administration for Children and Families (ACF) to provide performance-based incentive payments to states through Medicaid, coupled with $250 million in mandatory child welfare funding to build provider and systems capacity through a specialized workforce with specific training, screening and assessment tools, coordination between systems, and fidelity monitoring of the evidence-based interventions. This transformational approach will encourage the use of evidence-based screening, assessment, and treatment of trauma and mental health disorders among children and youth in foster care to reduce the over-prescription of psychotropic medications and improve social and emotional outcomes for some of America’s most vulnerable children.

Reducing Abuse of Part-D Drugs

The Budget also proposes to establish a program in Medicare Part D to prevent prescription drug abuse by requiring that high-risk beneficiaries only obtain controlled substances from specified providers and pharmacies.

Building Blocks for Success at Every Stage of Life

HHS seeks to serve Americans at key stages of life, when many may be at their most vulnerable. Investments that promote the safety, well-being, resilience, and healthy development of our nation’s children and youth will ultimately pay dividends, as the children of today grow into the employees, parents, and leaders of tomorrow. The Budget also makes investments to help older Americans live as independently as possible while maintaining their freedom and dignity.

Head Start

Research has shown the significant positive impact that early learning programs can have on a child’s development and lifelong well-being, including their potential earnings. Access to Early Head Start services has more than doubled for infants and toddlers over the course of the Administration, and significant investments have been made to strengthen the quality of services that Head Start provides. The FY 2017 Budget includes $9.6 billion for Head Start, an increase of $434 million over the FY 2016 enacted level. This level includes the resources necessary to maintain enrollment in the program, including preserving the Administration’s historic expansion of Early Head Start and recent investments in the Early Head Start-Child Care Partnerships. In addition, the Budget continues to support high-quality services in Head Start with an additional $292 million above FY 2016 to increase the number of children attending Head Start for a full school day and a full school year, which is necessary to ensure that children receive services that are of the highest-quality and also helps meet the needs of working parents.

Child Care

The Budget reflects the President’s continued commitment to quality, affordable child care. The Budget continues the historic proposal that provides $82 billion over 10 years in additional mandatory funds for child care. This investment will increase the number of children served to a total of 2.6 million children and guarantee that low-income working families can access high-quality child care, so that all young children are safe and ready to learn. This landmark proposal also makes significant investments in raising the quality of child care, including investments to improve the skills, competencies, and training of the child care workforce and a higher subsidy rate for higher-quality care. The Budget provides an additional $200 million in discretionary funding, which will support states, Tribes, and territories as they implement new health and safety requirements in their child care programs. The Budget also includes $40 million for pilots that will test and evaluate strategies for addressing the child care needs of working families, especially families with non traditional working hours or in rural areas.

Home Visiting

States have made substantial progress in developing and expanding voluntary, evidence-based home visiting programs in which nurses, social workers, and other professionals meet with families and connect them to assistance to support their children’s health, development, and ability to learn. A substantial body of research indicates these programs can improve parenting skills, children’s development, and school readiness. The Budget continues to propose extending and expanding the Maternal, Infant, and Early Childhood Home Visiting program by $15 billion over 10 years.

Improving Outcomes for Children in the Child Welfare System

The Budget includes an investment of $505 million above baseline in FY 2017 for a suite of proposals designed to improve permanency services so children are less likely to need foster care placement in the future, strengthen tribal child welfare programs, promote family-based care for children with be¬havioral and mental health needs to reduce the use of congregate care, foster successful transitions from foster care to adulthood, and improve the quality of child welfare services provided to children through better trained staff and stronger information technology systems.

Enhancing Child Welfare Workforce Development

Research shows that children in the child welfare system who have caseworkers with a Bachelor’s or Master’s Degree of Social Work have better outcomes, including shorter time in out-of-home care, increased adoptions, and a lower likelihood of being removed from their homes. The Budget includes $1.8 billion over 10 years to ensure child welfare caseworkers and other professionals have the right skills to best meet the needs of children, youth, and families in the child welfare system. This funding will enable individuals to earn these degrees in exchange for a commitment to work for the child welfare agency for a time commensurate to the length of the education benefits. To incentivize states to exercise this option, this proposal would offer an enhanced match rate for case planning and management for children in foster care, as well as administrative activities for children who are candidates for foster care, when these activities are significantly performed by caseworkers with either degree.

Promoting Family-Based Care and Reducing the Use of Congregate Care for Children in Foster Care

The Budget includes a proposal to provide additional support and funding to the child welfare system to promote family-based care and to provide oversight of congregate care placements. The proposal includes training and resources for foster care parents to provide specialized care to children with complex mental health and behavioral health needs and to ensure that congregate care is only used when necessary.

Improve Well-Being of Children and Families Affected by Substance Abuse

According to 2014 data, parental substance abuse contributed to 30 percent of foster care placements. In response to reports from child welfare agencies across the country that increases in opioid, heroin, and methamphetamine addiction and a lack of effective treatment services are significant contributing factors to the uptick in the numbers of children entering foster care, the Budget includes an expansion of the Regional Partnership Grants from $20 million to $60 million annually to improve the well-being of children and families affected by substance abuse. Families who participated in previous Regional Partnership Grants projects experienced enhanced outcomes including increased number of children remaining at home, increased reunification rates, decreased recidivism, and dramatic differences in the rate of children who returned to out-of-home care as compared to families who did not participate in the Regional Partnership Grants projects.

Strengthening Efforts to Help Poor Families Succeed

A total of 15.5 million children lived in poverty in 2014, a staggering number that translates into lost opportunity and a lower quality of life. The FY 2017 Budget builds on the proven capacity of the nation’s safety net to meet our 21st century poverty challenges. Twenty years after the creation of the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) program, there is now substantial evidence that reforms to improve the program are needed. That is why the Budget proposes to increase the program’s funding to help offset twenty years of erosion in program funding, ensure funds are spent on benefits and services that are most critical to improving the lives of poor families struggling to succeed in the labor market, finance a subsidized jobs and two generation initiatives, and establishes a workable countercyclical measure modeled after the effective TANF Emergency Fund created during the Great Recession. The Budget also calls for providing states with more flexibility to design effective work programs in exchange for holding states accountable for helping parents find jobs. Taken together these proposals will strengthen TANF, reduce poverty, and promote self-sufficiency.

In addition, the Budget will invest resources in a new $2 billion Emergency Aid and Service Connection Grants initiative to test and scale innovative State and local approaches to aide families facing financial crisis. The funding will provide families with the emergency help they need to avert a downward spiral or to reverse one, and then connect those who need it to longer term assistance, so that parents can get back on their feet, families are stabilized, and children can thrive.

Child Support Enforcement

According to a 2012 U.S. Bureau of Census survey, child support represents 45 percent of family income for poor families with income below the poverty level who receive child support. The Budget supports efforts to direct child support payments to families, promote parental engagement in children’s lives, and improve enforcement. It also makes significant investments to upgrade and replace outdated state child support systems to ensure support is paid to families in a timely manner. These efforts will reduce child poverty and promote family self-sufficiency.

Serving Refugees and Unaccompanied Children

The United States has a proud history of welcoming refugees. In light of a global displacement crisis, the Administration has committed to expanding the Refugee Admissions Program in FY 2016 and FY 2017. All refugees are subject to the highest level of security checks of any category of traveler to the United States. ACF’s role is to link these newly-arrived humanitarian populations, including refugees, asylees, special immigrant visa holders, and Cuban entrants, to key resources vital to becoming self sufficient, integrated members of American society. The Budget provides initial cash and medical assistance for 213,000 entrants in FY 2017. This includes 100,000 refugees, consistent with the Administration’s commitment to admit at least this number of refugees in 2017 as well as projected increases in other categories of humanitarian entrants. HHS is legally required to provide care and custody to all unaccompanied children apprehended by immigration authorities until they are released to an appropriate sponsor, while they await immigration proceedings. Based upon the recent increase in unaccompanied children apprehended at the southwest border, ACF is adding temporary capacity so that it is adequately prepared to care for these children, a prudent step to ensure that the Border Patrol can continue its vital national security mission. ACF is continuously monitoring the numbers of unaccompanied children referred for care, as well as the information received from interagency partners on conditions that may impact migration flows. The recent history of the program demonstrates the unpredictable nature of caseloads and the necessity of prudent planning and budgeting. To ensure that HHS can provide care for all unaccompanied children in FY 2017, the Budget includes the same amount of total base resources available in FY 2016, as well as a contingency fund that would trigger additional resources only if the caseload exceeds levels that could be supported with available funding.

Supporting the Independence of Older Adults

In FY 2017, HHS continues to make investments to address the needs of older Americans, many of whom require some level of assistance to live independently and remain in their homes and communities for as long as possible.

Supporting Family Caregivers

The FY 2017 Budget provides $151 million for Family Caregiver Support Services, which supports a number of essential services that assist family and informal caregivers to care for their loved ones at home. These services include access assistance, counseling and training, and respite support. Research suggests that informal family care for the elderly is valued at over $500 billion annually, an amount that exceeded total Federal Medicaid expenditures in 2015. Additionally, studies have shown that caregiver support services can reduce caregiver depression, anxiety, and stress, enabling caregivers to provide care longer while continuing to work, thereby avoiding or delaying the need for costly institutional care for their loved ones.

The Budget also includes $5 million for Lifespan Respite Care, $2 million more than FY 2016, to ease the burdens of caregiving by improving the quality of and access to respite care for family caregivers of older adults.

Providing Nutrition Assistance for Older Americans

Nutrition Services help older Americans nationwide remain healthy and independent in their homes and communities by providing meals in senior centers or through home-delivery. The FY 2017 Budget provides $849 million in funding for the Administration for Community Living (ACL) Nutrition Services programs, $14 million more than was provided in FY 2016. In combination with state and local funding, this increase will allow states to provide an estimated 205 million meals to over 2 million older Americans nationwide. Within the total investment in Nutrition Services, the Budget also includes a new one percent set-aside for evidence-based innovations that will help make future funding for Nutrition Services more cost-effective through improved quality and efficiency.

Addressing Alzheimer’s Disease

The Budget continues the Department’s commitment to support effective Alzheimer’s disease research, education, and outreach, as well as patient, family, and caregiver services. Approximately 5.1 million people age 65 and older suffer from Alzheimer’s disease, and the number of cases could double by 2050 as the population ages. NIH will spend an estimated $910 million in FY 2017 for basic neuroscience research, epidemiologic studies to identify risk and protective genes; and more than 35 clinical trials to test preventive and therapeutic interventions. Alzheimer’s is one of the initial four diseases that are the focus of NIH’s new Accelerating Medicines Partnership program of collaborations between NIH, pharmaceutical companies, and non-profit organizations. NIH is contributing $68 million over five years to this effort to evaluate biomarkers and validate biological targets that play a key role in the progression of Alzheimer’s disease. Most people living with Alzheimer’s disease are dependent upon family caregivers for years due to the slow loss of cognitive and functional independence. To specifically address the needs of these caregivers, the Budget invests $15 million in ACL to build on existing dementia-capable service systems and expand access to evidence-based interventions designed to assist caregivers of individuals with Alzheimer’s disease.

Leading in Science and Innovation

Advancing Scientific Knowledge

Supporting innovative research provides opportunities to generate the knowledge needed to unlock the basic building blocks of previously unanswerable questions in the biomedical field. Long-term national investments in NIH-supported research have generated scientific and technological innovations and breakthroughs that are behind many of the gains in the nation’s health. The FY 2017 Budget includes $33.1 billion, an increase of $825 million to advance the Administration’s commitment to support innovative research spanning from biomedical to behavioral that promotes economic growth and job creation, and advances the research field and the public’s health. NIH will continue to support research grants across a wide spectrum of program areas and target resources to enhance efforts with precision medicine, antimicrobial resistance, the Brain Research through Advancing Innovative Neurotechnologies (BRAIN) Initiative and Alzheimer’s research, vaccines and cures for HIV/AIDS, and a significant investment to support the Vice President’s Cancer Moonshot.

Vice President’s Cancer Moonshot

Current cancer mortality rates are approximately 15 percent lower than a decade ago, due in part to investments in research that have led to significant developments in the prevention, screening, and treatment of cancer. Beginning in FY 2016, NIH and FDA will build upon innovations through a multi-year initiative that accelerates the nation’s fight against cancer in an effort to even further reduce the number of Americans affected by its devastating consequences. The Budget provides $680 million to expand clinical trials for health disparity populations, pursue new vaccine technology, and fund exceptional opportunities in cancer research. These investments will drive scientific advances that aim to understand the causes of cancer, discover new prevention strategies, improve early detection and diagnosis, and cultivate effective treatments. The Budget also includes $75 million for FDA to develop the regulatory pathways for these new technologies, ensure quality systems for trials, and facilitate the sharing of important data across government, academia, and industry. NIH will support these efforts beginning in FY 2016.

Precision Medicine Initiative

Recent breakthroughs in genomics, computing, and molecular medicine have created extraordinary opportunities to advance health care into a new era where many more treatments are based on the genetic characteristics of each patient. To achieve this new paradigm, the Budget expands funding for the Precision Medicine Initiative by $100 million to a total of $300 million within NIH. At NIH these funds will support new studies on how the DNA from an individual cancer tumor can be used to predict the right choice of targeted therapies, how resistance to therapy can occur, and how to test new combinations of targeted cancer drugs. NIH will also continue scaling up a cohort study of 1 million or more Americans to gather data on the interplay of environmental exposures, physical parameters, and genetic information to lay the foundation for a wealth of new research studies on many diseases that can lead to new prevention strategies, novel therapeutics, and medical devices. In support of these efforts, FDA will develop the regulatory pathways for these new medical technologies and ONC will facilitate the development of interoperable and secure health data exchange systems.

BRAIN Initiative

Despite the many advances in neuroscience in recent years, the underlying causes of most neurological and psychiatric conditions remain largely unknown due to the vast complexity of the human brain. To further revolutionize our understanding of the brain, the Budget provides an increase of $45 million, for a FY 2017 total of $195 million within NIH, for the Brain Research through Advancing Innovative Neurotechnologies (BRAIN) Initiative. In collaboration with public and private partners, NIH is pushing the boundaries of neuroscience through the BRAIN Initiative to reveal how patterns of neural activity actually translate into emotion, thought, and memory. This research has the potential to discover underlying pathologies in a vast array of brain disorders and provide new avenues to treat, cure, and even prevent common conditions, such as Alzheimer’s disease, autism, depression, schizophrenia, and addiction. In FY 2017, the increased funds will continue to support basic neuroscience research, human neuroscience, neuroimaging, and training initiatives, as well as potential projects to collaborate with industry to test novel devices in the human brain, new ways to address big data from the brain, and developing devices for mapping and tuning brain circuitry.

Laboratory Safety and Quality

CDC is committed to continuous improvements in laboratory science and safety, as well as the quality of its public health laboratory services. The FY 2017 Budget includes $33 million to continue support for CDC’s implementation of laboratory safety recommendations. This funding will enable CDC to maintain its ability to respond to outbreaks, determine unexplained illnesses, support state and local diagnostics, improve pathogen identification of emerging and re-emerging diseases and maintain the world’s most advanced, state-of-the-art infectious disease and environmental public health laboratories.

Leaving the Department Stronger

The Budget better positions the Department to fulfill its core mission to protect the health of Americans and provide essential human services. Investments in programs and the infrastructures that support them will improve transparency and efficiency across HHS. These improvements will allow HHS to not only meet the challenges of today, but also those of tomorrow.


HHS is responsible for securing millions of individuals’ personal health information, conducting highly sensitive biodefense work, reviewing new drug applications and clinical trial data, and issuing more grants than any other federal entity. The Budget includes $51 million within the Office of the Secretary to increase the Department’s protections against cyber threats, such as unauthorized access, denial of service, malicious code, inappropriate usage, and insider threat, that pose risks to HHS critical functions, services, and data.

Investing in Facilities

The Budget requests a total of $570 million, an increase of $47 million, for IHS facilities for construction across Indian Country. Investments in construction will help IHS to build or maintain the necessary infrastructure to deliver essential health services to American Indians and Alaska Natives. Substantial increases include $27 million for health care facilities construction to reduce the number of health care construction projects list backlog. The Budget also includes $12 million for facilities and environmental health support, which sustains critical public health programs, such as the injury prevention program and environmental health services, supplements salary for support staff at 1,015 facilities, and addresses facility needs and upkeep. Finally, the Budget requests $4 million for the sanitation facilities construction program, which builds much needed facilities to deliver potable water and provide waste disposal to American Indian and Alaska Native people.

The Budget also makes investments to address infrastructure needs across HHS facilities that directly support mission critical activities. The Budget includes an increase of $24 million above FY 2016, for a total of $43 million, to improve the integrity of operations and infrastructure for CDC and FDA. This investment will address high priority facility needs, and is paramount to ensure functionality and preparedness for continued service. Within this total, an increase of $21 million, for a total of $31 million, is provided for CDC’s facility repair and improvements. These investments will directly support CDC’s ability to support its mission to improve public health. In addition, the Budget also includes $12 million for FDA building and facilities, an increase of $3 million over FY 2016, to begin addressing high priority needs across facilities that support mission critical work and enable FDA to respond to food safety and medical product activities.

Strengthening Program Integrity

The FY 2017 Budget continues to make cutting health care fraud, waste, and abuse a top Administration priority. The Budget requests $199 million in new investments in program integrity programs in FY 2017, including $44 million in discretionary Health Care Fraud and Abuse Control, $130 million in recovered funds from the Recovery Audit Contractors to reduce improper payments in Medicare, and $25 million in new mandatory Medicaid Integrity Program funding in FY 2017. These investments include continuing to fund the full Health Care Fraud and Abuse Control discretionary cap adjustment and increasing mandatory Medicaid Integrity Program funding. In total, program integrity investments in the Budget will yield an estimated $23.8 billion in savings to Medicare and Medicaid over ten years. The Budget also includes proposals that will expand and strengthen the tools available to CMS to combat fraud, waste, and abuse in CMS programs.

Focusing on Stewardship

To improve the efficiency of the Medicare appeals system and reduce the backlog of appeals awaiting adjudication at the Office of Medicare Hearings and Appeals (OMHA), HHS has developed a comprehensive strategy that involves additional funding, administrative actions, and legislative proposals. The Budget includes resources at all levels of appeal to increase adjudication capacity and advances new strategies to alleviate the current backlog. The Budget includes $250 million for OMHA, of which $120 million is in budget authority and $130 million is from legislative proposals. Additionally, the Budget includes $44.2 million to support greater CMS participation in Administrative Law Judge hearings at OMHA, increase efforts to decrease the backlog through new adjudication and settlement activities, and invest in automating the first and second level appeals levels in the Medicare Appeals System. The Budget also includes a package of legislative proposals that provide new authority and additional funding to address the backlog.

Content created by Office of Budget (OB)
Content last reviewed on February 8, 2016