Close up image of a caretaker helping older woman walk

President Obama is expected to call for a three-year, $250 billion discretionary spending freeze during his State of the Union address tonight. Its effect on healthcare might not be as bad as many think, according to recent analyses.

The freeze would not apply to “security spending,” according to the Obama administration. That encompasses intelligence and defense spending, foreign aid, homeland security and funding for veterans. And though healthcare providers are used to receiving cutbacks during spending freezes, senior White House advisors have been spreading the word that healthcare programs will not be affected. 

The freeze would likely be “irrelevant” to healthcare, according to an analysis by The Atlantic, which noted that “Medicare, Medicaid and taxes are all mandatory.” One part of the spending proposal would even increase funding to help families take care of elderly relatives.