March 31, 2023
House Ways and Means Subcommittee, Appropriations Subcommittee, and Energy and Commerce Committee hold hearings on HHS FY 2024 budget request
This week, the House Ways and Means Subcommittee on Health; the House Appropriations Subcommittee on Labor, Health and Human Services, Education; and the House Energy and Commerce Committee held separate hearings to discuss President Biden's fiscal year (FY) 2024 budget proposal for the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS). The hearings follow those held in the Senate last week and mark the beginning of a months-long appropriations process to fund HHS before the end of the fiscal year.
Each committee heard testimony from HHS Secretary Xavier Becerra who defended the president's budget request and highlighted what he characterized as department successes, including record health coverage under the Affordable Care Act (ACA), investments in behavioral health services, and reducing out-of-pocket costs for Medicare beneficiaries. Overall, Becerra said Biden's budget represents a move toward wellness care and away from illness care.
During the hearings, Becerra responded to wide-ranging questions from committee members, including those related to the public health emergency (PHE) unwinding, HHS' handling of migrant children, HHS telework policies, proposed changes to the Medicare Advantage (MA) program, and more. Republicans at all three hearings raised concerns about the size of President Biden's $6.8 trillion budget proposal and the impact on the federal deficit and inflation, with several members and chairmen questioning the budget's impact on the Medicare Trust Fund, calling the proposals a "budget gimmick." Democrats, meanwhile, criticized a recent House Freedom Caucus proposal to cap FY 2024 spending at FY 2022 levels, and asked Becerra to share how such a policy would impact HHS research programs and consumers.
For more information on the hearings, including Secretary Becerra's testimony, visit the House Ways and Means Health Committee hearing landing page, the Appropriations Committee hearing landing page, and the Energy and Commerce Committee hearing landing page.
Additional information is also available in the attached Tax Alert.
Hearings on HHS FY 2024 budget request