President Biden’s budget builds on measures included in the Inflation Reduction Act, including calling for the $35 insulin cap for Medicare to be expanded to the entire commercial market as well as making the expanded subsidies for the Affordable Care Act permanent.
More than $10 billion was set aside for Biden’s Cancer Moonshot initiative and investments were also proposed to improve the U.S.’s behavioral health system.
While the proposal included the tax code reforms aimed at shoring up Medicare that Biden announced earlier this week, the plan did not include similar measures to prevent Social Security from becoming insolvent.
The budget hinted at another possible tax hike, stating the administration “looks forward to working with the Congress to responsibly strengthen Social Security by ensuring that high-income individuals pay their fair share.”
Discussion over securing Medicare and Social Security has recently gained traction at the Capitol, but a tax hike will be a nonstarter for the GOP-controlled House, with Republicans already declaring the proposed Medicare tax increase will never be realized in the divided government.
Biden’s proposal also notably left out any plans for new COVID-19 funding, with some measures instead directed at addressing the impacts of the pandemic on areas such as the disrupted supply chain, unemployment insurance and mental health.
The budget called for $20 billion in mandatory funding to the Department of Health and Human Services for “pandemic prevention and preparedness.”
The White House had said last year that the U.S. would move toward privatizing COVID-19 treatments and vaccines in 2023. The national COVID-19 public health emergency is scheduled to end May 11 and the budget appears to be another indication that the federal government is ready to move past the pandemic era.