Join our Community

PSCA Executive Reports

February 27, 2018


After a brief government shutdown earlier this month, President Trump signed into law the Bipartisan Budget Act of 2018. The bill creates a two-year budget that increases the caps on spending for domestic and military programs. It also funds the government through March 23, which provides Congress with approximately six weeks to pass an omnibus appropriation package. The bill includes a few changes in the retirement and health arenas, which are outlined in this update.

Also this month, the White House introduced its Fiscal Year 2019 budget. Given the financial realities of the Bipartisan Budget Act, the President’s budget may be regarded primarily as a messaging tool. The following items are of interest for the retirement and health industries:

Department of Labor (“DOL”) 
The budget calls for a $2.6 billion or 21% decrease in appropriations for DOL compared to 2017 enacted levels. This number is offset by a $1.4 billion increase in appropriations for workforce development programs included in the budget addendum. The budget – 

  • Increases funding to the Employee Benefits Security Administration (“EBSA”) to develop and implement policies regarding association health plans (“AHPs”);
  • Increases multiemployer Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation (“PBGC”) premiums to raise nearly $16 billion over 10 years; and
  • Introduces a paid family leave proposal that would provide new mothers and fathers with six weeks of paid leave using the existing, state-based unemployment insurance infrastructure at a cost of $19 billion.

Department of Treasury
The budget calls for a $392 million or 3% decrease in appropriations from 2017 enacted levels. The budget provides $2.3 billion for tax return computing systems and an additional $110 million for IT upgrades.

Department of Health and Human Services (“HHS”)
The budget calls for a $17.9 billion or 21% decrease in appropriations for HHS compared to 2017 enacted levels.  The budget –

  • Calls for repealing and replacing the Affordable Care Act (“ACA”) using the Graham-Cassidy legislation as a model; and
  • Reforms Medicaid through block grants and rolls back ACA Medicaid expansion, along with other Medicaid reform items from the Graham-Cassidy bill.

Notably, the budget does not include any mention of the fiduciary rule. In addition, for the second year in a row, the budget does not include the Treasury “Greenbook” (i.e., a detailed compilation of the Administration’s tax and revenue proposals). This year the absence of the Greenbook has been blamed on limited resources due to the implementation of tax reform.


Browse Executive Reports Archive:

2017 | 2016 | 2015 | 2014 | 2013 | 2012 | 2011 | 2010 | 2009