Agency-by-agency summary of Obama budget



Estimated read time: 2-3 minutes

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Agency: Health and Human Services

Discretionary spending: $73.7 billion

Percentage change from 2014: 7.6 percent decrease

Highlights: Obama's proposed health care budget supports the rollout of the president's health care law and lays the groundwork for next year's open enrollment season, when the administration hopes to have worked out all the bugs in the new insurance system. Fees from insurers will provide a new stream of revenue for online markets that cater to people who don't have access to health care on the job. The budget includes $25 million over two years to monitor and prevent fraud in the insurance exchanges.

Monday's budget documents provided little detail on Medicare and Medicaid, the entitlement programs that account for the vast majority of HHS spending. Those specifics will be released later. However, Obama's plan calls for overall cuts of $402 billion over ten years projected spending on the two giant health care programs. Most of that would come from Medicare. The budget also supports congressional efforts to change the way Medicare pays doctors, emphasizing improved quality. For Medicaid, the budget proposes a one-year extension of higher payments for primary care practitioners.

The Medicare cuts are expected to be heavy on recycled and updated versions of previous proposals. They include higher premiums on affluent beneficiaries for outpatient care and prescription drug coverage, and a raft of changes that would squeeze service providers.

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Agency: Homeland Security

Discretionary spending: $38.2 billion

Percentage change from 2014: 2.8 percent decrease

Highlights: Obama's proposed homeland security budget would provide money to hire 2,000 new Customs and Border Protection officers to work at the country's ports of entry. The budget also proposes another 2,000 officers whose positions would be funded by user fees. Lawmakers and others have repeatedly complained to the Homeland Security Department that long waits at borders and airports hinders both business and tourism and have repeatedly asked for more border officers.

The president's budget plan also calls for $124 million to "support, expand and enhance" the E-Verify system employers can use to verify that employees are legally allowed to work in the United States. Obama has continued to push for broad immigration legislation but Republicans have been largely opposed, citing the need for border security before addressing other immigration issues. There have also been calls in recent years from some in Congress to make the use of E-verify mandatory.

The budget proposal also includes $10 million to help train local law enforcement on how to respond to mass shooting and bolster the department's "If You See Something, Say Something" program as it relates to helping prevent gun violence. President Barack Obama has unsuccessfully pushed for stronger gun control laws in the wake of mass shootings in a Colorado movie theater and a Connecticut elementary school.

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The Associated Press

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