Behavioral and veterans health among key priorities in Biden's budget

President Joe Biden's 2025 budget did not just touch upon cybersecurity, the drug price negotiation program and Medicare solvency, as the plan also suggested policy for mental health, health equity and veterans' health.

Although still likely to change, and almost certain to face obstacles in getting enacted, the budget gives a good idea of what the president's priorities are in his final year of his first term.

In addition to major highlights, here are other items the budget (PDF) laid out:

Affordable healthcare

  • Makes permanent the premium tax credits from the Inflation Reduction Act
  • Implements an allowance ban for facility fees for telehealth in commercial insurance
  • Funding for the No Surprises Act
  • Allows states to extend 12-month continuous eligibility for children up to 3 years old and let states cover children from birth until they turn 6 years old
  • Eliminates Medicaid funding caps for Puerto Rico
  • Applies Medicaid drug rebates to Children’s Health Insurance Programs

Senior health

  • Invests $150 billion over 10 years to improve Medicaid home and community-based services
  • Moves nursing home survey funding from discretionary to mandatory beginning in 2026 and increase funding to cover 100% of statutorily mandated surveys
  • Improves safety of nursing home care and address backlog of complaints while expanding financial penalties for facilities

Behavioral healthcare

  • Invests more in the 988 Suicide and Crisis Lifeline
  • Expands mental health care in schools
  • Increases funding for the Children’s Mental Health Initiative by $50 million and double funding for the Mental Health Crisis Partnership Program
  • Provides $1 billion to further health IT adoption and engagement in interoperability
  • Better ensures similar coverage for behavioral and physical conditions
  • Extends the incentive payment programs for Medicare providers

Substance use disorder

  • Increases funding for the State Opioid Response grant program
  • Develops a technical assistance center to help health providers understand women’s mental health and substance use

Disease treatment

  • Increases funding to the National Cancer Institute, the FDA, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the Advanced Research Projects Agency for Health and the Indian Health Service by $2 billion starting in 2026
  • Implements a national program to expand screening, testing and prevention of hepatitis C. A major goal is eliminating barriers to PrEP by making it no cost for uninsured and underinsured people.
  • Proposes a Vaccines for Adults program to go along with an already existing Vaccines for Children program.

Maternal health and health equity

  • Increases funding by $82 million for the White House Blueprint for Addressing the Maternal Health Crisis
  • Grows Medicaid maternal health support services during pregnancy and the postpartum period. States would be able to reimburse doulas, community health workers, peer support initiatives and nursing home visit programs
  • Requires states extend Medicaid 12 months postpartum coverage
  • Asks for $8 billion for Indian Health Services for preventive health, clinical services, facilities construction and tribal leases. Those funds would become mandatory in 2026 for signature Biden health policies
  • Allocates a 10% increase in funding for Violence Against Women Act of 1994 programs

Veterans health

  • The budget includes $24.5 billion for the War Toxic Exposures Fund in 2025 through funds appropriated by the Fiscal Responsibility Act
  • Allocates $112.6 billion in discretionary medical care funding in 2025
  • Supports a $2 billion investment for maintenance to improve facility infrastructure, as well as tackling the opioid and drug overdose epidemic
  • Allocates $17.1 billion through the VA Medical Care program to increase access to mental healthcare
  • Invests $13.7 billion for women veterans healthcare, including $1.1 billion for gender-specific care. Investments include specialty surgical services, better access to infertility counseling and eliminated copayments for contraceptive coverage
  • Invests $713 million toward opioid use disorder prevention for veterans, using predictive analytics to quantify risk of overdose
  • A decrease to Veterans Affairs Medical and Prosthetics Program by 8%, an item the Association of American Medical Colleges opposes


  • The budget calls for increased mandatory Health Care Fraud and Abuse Control funding
  • There is also a line item for expanding tools to identify and investigate fraud in Medicare Advantage
  • Triples the number of COVID-19 Fraud Strike Forces