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Photo: Andrew Harrer / Bloomberg via Getty Images

Presidents’ budgets are not legislative documents. They’re wish lists. So it’s easy to make too much of them — there’s really no penalty for swinging for the fences, nor is there much incentive to try to craft a budget that would please a lot of people.

The bottom line: A lot of these proposals would need congressional approval, and that’s why a great many of them will never see the light of day. But this is a pretty good roadmap to the administration’s priorities — one that should make Medicaid advocates, including hospitals, especially nervous.

But with the caveat that the budget is just a statement of priorities, here’s what we can glean from the choices the Trump administration announced yesterday...

  • Public health is out. President Trump’s budget proposed some steep cuts to public-health agencies and programs, including significant reductions at the Centers for Disease Control & Prevention.
  • Medicaid is a prime target. The budget calls for steep, blunt cuts to Medicaid — cuts that would total more than $1 trillion over a decade, by the White House’s math. Those include the dramatic cuts from last year’s repeal-and-replace bills, which are obviously not going to happen. But the budget also calls for tighter eligibility rules, fewer benefit mandates and more rigorous screening for things like immigration status.
  • ACA stabilization is in? Trump’s budget called for fully repealing the Affordable Care Act. But it also says Congress should fund the law’s cost-sharing subsidies — funds Trump cut off last year. And it calls for fully funding the law’s “risk corridors” program, which helps soften the blow for insurers who have had a rough time in the exchanges.
  • Medicare is somewhere in the middle. The budget would significantly reduce Medicare spending, but a lot of those savings are pretty technical, and some are reruns from President Obama’s budgets.
  • Pharma is not completely safe. No, Trump hasn’t formally proposed Medicare price negotiations, and he probably won’t. But his budget does still call for several steps that would lower seniors’ drug costs, including creating a new cap on seniors’ out-of-pocket costs.

Go deeper

Meadows cooperating with House Jan. 6 select committee

Mark Meadows. Photo: Yuri Gripas/Bloomberg via Getty Images

Former White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows is cooperating with the House select committee in charge of investigating the Jan. 6 Capitol insurrection, the panel said Tuesday.

Driving the news: Meadows, who failed to appear before the panel earlier this month, is believed to have insight into former President Trump's role in efforts to stop the certification of President Biden's election win.

Updated 1 hour ago - Politics & Policy

Omicron dashboard

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

  1. Health: Omicron fuels the case for COVID boosters — Omicron variant lifts Moderna's stock price — CDC strengthens COVID booster recommendation.
  2. Politics: Biden says fight against Omicron won't include "shutdowns or lockdowns."
  3. States: Federal court blocks Biden's vaccine mandate for health workers in 10 states — NYC urges masks indoors "at all times" regardless of vaccination status — New York declares state of emergency amid concerns over Omicron.
  4. World: Omicron adds urgency to vaccinating worldWHO warns against travel bans on southern African countries — First North American Omicron cases identified in Canada.
  5. Variant tracker: Where different strains are spreading.
Kendall Baker, author of Sports
Updated 1 hour ago - Sports

College football gone mad

Former Notre Dame coach Brian Kelly walks in front of his players. Photo: David Madison/Getty Images

In the span of two days, the head coaches of two of the biggest college football programs in America have jumped ship, wooed by even greater challenges — and the almighty dollar.

Driving the news: Lincoln Riley is ditching Oklahoma for USC in a deal reportedly worth $110 million. LSU poached Brian Kelly from Notre Dame with a reported 10-year, $100 million contract.