On the 2018 Budget

Hard though it is to witness, it's an important time to be paying attention to the wider world. ASHA's blog recently had a succinct overview of how the current administration's proposed budget for fiscal year 2018 may potentially affect clinicians.

Particularly pertinent to health care settings (and some school settings, I imagine):

The president’s budget call for $655 billion in cuts to programs under the Department of Health and Human Services—with most of the cuts coming from a proposal to curb federal outlays to the Medicaid program.

Also of note:

Also proposed is elimination of the Early Hearing Detection and Intervention (EHDI) program and programs related to autism and other developmental disorders.

The anti-vaccination movement has found a responsive audience with the current administration, though it's interesting to see that programs supporting autism are up for elimination. Note too that the anti-vaccination movement is actually driving up the cost of health care by sparking outbreaks of diseases that are preventable.

One standout in education was regarding the federal Public Service Loan Forgiveness program:

The administration also proposes major changes in how students finance, pay back, and are forgiven debt for higher education. The federal Public Service Loan Forgiveness program would be eliminated. This program forgives student debt to individuals who make 120 payments and work in public-service settings for 10 years.

This part isn't all that surprising given Betsy DeVos's ties to a student loan debt collection agency, but it's no less disappointing for it.

You can stay up date on clinical, education, and research-related issues directly with ASHA, or you can keep an eye out on dedicated resources such as the excellent 5 Calls and make your, and your patients' and clients', voice(s) heard.