The House Ways and Means and Senate Finance committees today held hearings on the administration’s fiscal year 2018 budget request for the Department of Health and Human Services. During the House hearing, Ways and Means Chairman Kevin Brady (R-TX) urged Congress to quickly act within its constitutional authority to temporarily fund cost sharing reduction payments, which reduce out-of-pocket costs for low-income individuals purchasing coverage through the Health Insurance Marketplaces. “Insurers have made clear the lack of certainty is causing 2018 proposed premiums to rise significantly,” he said. The administration has not signaled whether it will continue the payments. Its budget request, released last month, proposed $627 billion in Medicaid savings over 10 years, primarily by giving states a per capita cap or block grant option. It also assumes $250 billion in savings from the repeal of the Affordable Care Act. Other proposals would extend funding for the Children’s Health Insurance Program through FY 2019 while calling for $5.8 billion in savings; provide $1.3 billion over 10 years to reform the Medicare appeals process; and reform the medical liability system. For more information, see last month’s AHA Special Bulletin for members.