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President Obama’s 2012 Budget Proposal

On Monday, President Obama released his $3.7 trillion federal budget proposal for fiscal year 2012. The proposal marks a shift away from economic revitalization (the focus of his past two budgets) to squarely address the deficit which this year hit a record $1.6 trillion. It aims to bring the deficit down to $1.1 trillion in 2012 and $768 billion in 2013.

The President’s proposal includes significant cuts in spending along with increased funding in areas deemed to produce long-term savings such as education, clean energy, and health care. Check out this interactive chart for an informative and easy-to-navigate tour of the budget.

The Budget Proposal & Health

There is a lot of discussion in Washington this week about Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid — and just how much entitlement programs affect the budget. While being open to negotiations in this area of the budget, the President also defended the ACA.

At the 7:15 mark in the video above, President Obama emphasizes that health reform, in addition to being the right thing to do, helps bring down the deficit. Specifically, because of the ACA, projected deficits will be $250 billion lower over the next decade, and $1 trillion lower over the following decade.

For more on the HHS parts of the budget, check out this HHS Budget Brief.

To support public health, the budget contains several new programs and investments, including the Vaccines for Children Program, the ACA’s Prevention and Public Health Fund, and Domestic HIV/AIDS activities that are consistent with the National Prevention Strategy. For more, see this summary of the CDC’s budget.

Where We Go From Here

Similar to how things work in California, the announcement of the President’s plan simply marks the beginning of a process that ends on October 1, the first day of the 2012 fiscal year. Between now and then, there will be many discussions, negotiations and press conferences.

As reported in today’s NY Times and as he mentioned a few times in the press conference, the President is open to ideas on how to reign in the deficit and work with all lawmakers in developing the budget. While some fear a long, hot summer in DC wrangling over the budget, the President believes in “a spirit of cooperation between Democrats and Republicans. And I think that’s possible.”