At a recent House Ways and Means Committee hearing, Health and Human Services Secretary Tom Price discussed President Trump’s fiscal year 2018 budget proposals affecting programs under the Committee’s jurisdiction.
Looking at ways to improve health care and welfare programs, Members and Secretary Price discussed the need to roll back the Obama Administration’s burdensome regulations that have stifled the success of certain programs – especially those intended to serve rural and low-income communities.
As Ways and Means Committee Chairman Kevin Brady (R-TX) said the start of the hearing:
“The current challenges we face in health care and welfare cannot be solved with a top-down, ‘Washington knows best’ approach. That model has failed the American people time and again over the past eight years.”
Explaining how the “Washington knows best” approach has limited access to health care for the people in their districts, Rep. Lynn Jenkins (R-KS) and Rep. Adrian Smith (R-NE) pointed out that many hospitals in rural communities are struggling to keep up with one-size-fits-all regulations.
Secretary Price reaffirmed the Trump Administration’s commitment to addressing those regulations so local communities can meet the unique needs of their patients. He said:
“I know the challenge that exists in rural America, especially in critical access hospitals. Our goal is to make sure the patients receive the kind of care that they need in those hospitals in a timely fashion with appropriate personnel.”
Members and Secretary Price also discussed the need to invest in programs that deliver meaningful results for the American people. As Secretary Price explained:
“The problem with many of our federal programs … is that many of them simply don’t work. Fixing a government program requires redesigning its structure and refocusing taxpayer resources to better serve those most in need. And that’s exactly what President Trump’s budget will do at HHS.”
Rep. Adrian Smith, who chairs the Ways and Means Human Resources Subcommittee, described the success of evidence-based programs like the Maternal, Infant, and Early Childhood Home Visiting (MIECHV) program – a program he and other House Republicans are working to reauthorize.
When Rep. Smith asked Secretary Price about supporting more federal anti-poverty programs that are evidence-based, the Secretary responded:
“This is incredibly important because as I mentioned, we so often measure the success of a program by how much money goes into it in this town as opposed to whether or not it’s actually accomplishing its goal … If we focus on those things that actually have metrics to determine whether or not the program’s working, then we can figure out where we are potentially putting more resources. But unless you focus on the outcomes, on the actual product that comes from the programs, you’ll never get that.”
Ways and Means Republicans will continue to work with the Administration to remove burdensome regulations, promote flexibility, and invest in programs that deliver real results for the American people.
CLICK HERE to learn more about the hearing.