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Trump's budget proposal. Photo: Saul Loeb/AFP/Getty Images

President Trump’s budget proposal would cut the Department of Health and Human Services’ funding by more than 20% next year, on top of nearly $300 billion in long-term savings from Medicare, Medicaid and other health programs.

Yes, but: No matter who the president is, presidential budgets are wish lists. These aren’t real cuts unless and until Congress makes them. And a lot of these cuts — like repealing the Affordable Care Act — are not going to happen any time soon.

The details: Trump’s budget outline calls for …

  • Repealing the Affordable Care Act.
  • Cutting federal Medicaid spending via a new system of capped payments.
  • A handful of new steps to lower the cost of prescription drugs, mostly in line with what the White House previewed last week.
  • Folding the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, along with some programs now housed within the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, into the National Institutes of Health.
  • Cutting the CDC’s budget by $878 million next year, while increasing the Food and Drug Administration’s budget by $663 million and the National Institutes of Health by roughly $700 million.
  • Provide $10 billion, across HHS, for programs to combat the opioid epidemic.

Go deeper: Read HHS’ full budget brief here.

Go deeper

2 hours ago - Health

Prior coronavirus infections may not protect well against Omicron

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

New data from South Africa suggests the Omicron variant spreads more than twice as quickly as the Delta variant, and that immunity from prior infection doesn't appear to protect a person very well against Omicron variant.

Why it matters: The findings are extremely preliminary, and there are still many open questions about how well vaccines work against the variant. But these initial breadcrumbs of data are helping the world begin to understand what it's up against.

Bryan Walsh, author of Future
3 hours ago - Technology

AI could end foreign-language subtitles

Illustration: Shoshana Gordon/Axios

AI companies are developing methods to translate and synthesize voices in ads, movies and TV.

Why it matters: The advances in voice synthesis could help fix bad movie dubbing — and they come as international content is becoming increasingly important to studios and streaming platforms as part of the globalization of entertainment.

Bryan Walsh, author of Future
Updated 12 hours ago - Technology

A dark view of the future of autonomous weapons

A still from the video "If Human: Kill ( )." Image: Future of Life Institute

A new short film warns of the coming risks posed by the development and proliferation of lethal autonomous weapons.

Why it matters: Drones with the ability to autonomously target and kill without the assistance of a human operator are reportedly already being used on battlefields, and time is running out to craft a global ban of what could be a destabilizing and terrifying new class of weapon.