Trump Budget Eliminates Funding for Emergency Care for Kids
A day after President Trump released the details of the Administration's fiscal year 2018 budget, the Emergency Nurses Association released a statement with 10 other health organizations opposing the proposed elimination of funding for the federal Emergency Medical Services for Children (EMSC) program. Funding for the EMSC program has remained relatively flat since 2010, and was funded in fiscal year 2017 at just over $20 million. The statement was released on May 24, coinciding with Emergency Medical Services for Children Day. All told, the budget would reduce spending on safety-net programs like EMSC and Medicaid by more than $1 trillion over 10 years.
"For more than 30 years, the EMSC program has worked to improve the quality of care children receive, no matter where they live or require treatment," said the statement opposing the elimination of the program. "Children are not just little adults - emergency services and equipment like ventilation and airway equipment, defibrillators, and life-saving drugs need to be sized and dosed especially for children." While the president's budget acts as a roadmap for the Administration's priorities, it does not carry the weight of law. All federal spending decisions, including specific cuts to programs must be approved by Congress.
The EMSC program is the only federal program devoted to improving pediatric emergency care, including in pre-hospital EMS systems and hospital emergency departments. It funds critical research that aims to improve screening of children in the emergency department for substance use such as opioid dependency as well as the screening of teens at risk for suicide that may be linked to substance use or mental health disorders. ENA has issued an Action Alert encouraging EN411 Legislative Action Network members to write their members of Congress opposing the elimination of funding for EMSC.