White House Budget eliminates EMSC funding

The White House released it’s budget proposal recently and it features a series of cuts to federal spending. While presidential budgets are not law and many lawmakers have already called it “Dead on Arrival”, it does set priorities for budget negotiations moving forward. One cut relevant to pediatric emergency medicine is the elimination of funding for the Emergency Medical Services for Children (EMSC) program. The AAP and ACEP both oppose eliminating EMSC and the following is the call to action released by the AAP Section on Emergency Medicine.


Recently, President Donald Trump released his fiscal year 2018 budget proposal, which eliminated funding for the EMSC program. The Academy issued a statement opposing the overall budget proposal and today joined with several other organizations to speak out against the president’s recommendation to defund EMSC.

While the budget proposal does not become law, it sets a dangerous precedent and is a reflection of President Trump’s funding priorities.

As a pediatrician with expertise in this field, you understand the importance of children having access to emergency services, equipment and medications that are designed and dosed specifically for them. It is critical that Congress hears directly from you about the need to fully fund the EMSC program.

For more than 30 years, the EMSC program has improved the quality, capability and outcomes of pediatric emergency care, including in pre-hospital EMS systems and hospital emergency departments. The president’s budget would mean devastating consequences for this progress.

There are two ways for you to take action:

  • Contact your members of Congress: To contact your members of Congress and urge them to support full funding for the EMSC program, click on the “Take Action” button above or go to federaladvocacy.aap.org and click on “Fully Fund the Emergency Medical Services for Children Program” in the Advocacy Action Center. There, you will find a template email to guide your outreach.
    • We’ve also included talking points below if you would prefer to call your members of Congress. You can find your representative and senators by going to House.gov and “Find Your Representative” and Senate.gov and “Find Your Senators.” The Washington, DC Office contact information will be on their websites.
  • Share messages on social media: Use #EMSCDay to share messages on Twitter about the importance of the EMSC program. Sample tweets below:
    • On #EMSCDay, Congress should fund EMSC, the only federal program focused on improving emergency care for children: http://ow.ly/lXeh30bYHNm
    • EMSC is especially important during mass casualty events involving children, like this week’s bombing in England. #EMSCDay
    • On #EMSCDay we oppose President Trump’s budget proposal to eliminate EMSC, which provides pediatric emergency care: http://ow.ly/lXeh30bYHNm

Your voice is essential in these efforts. Thank you for taking advocacy action to support the EMSC program.

Talking points:

  • As a pediatrician and a member of the American Academy of Pediatrics, I urge you to support the Emergency Medical Services for Children (EMSC) program by fully funding the program for fiscal year 2018.
  • President Donald Trump’s FY 2018 budget proposal, which eliminates funding for the program, would have devastating consequences for the progress that has been made to improve pediatric emergency care in the United States.
  • 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. 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.
  • The EMSC program has improved the quality, capability and outcomes of pediatric emergency care, including in pre-hospital EMS systems and hospital emergency departments. In addition, it funds critical research to improve substance use screening, such as opioid dependency, and screening for suicidality that may be linked to substance use or mental health disorders.
  • We may not know when or how an emergency will occur, but thanks to EMSC, our nation’s ambulances, EMS personnel and emergency departments are better equipped and trained to treat children.
  • I urge you to reject the president’s proposal and fully fund the EMSC program in FY 2018 so that children and adolescents continue to have the emergency medical support they need, the moment they need it.
  • Thank you for all you do for children.
Sonny Tat

Sonny Tat

Assistant Clinical Professor at University of California at San Francisco
Sonny's academic interests are in team performance in resuscitation, developing learning platforms for medical education, and transitioning academics to the digital age. Sonny created PEMAcademy, a collaborative regional blog for PEM education and is the Editor-In-Chief of the PEMNetwork Blog. His hobbies include photography and cooking.
Sonny Tat
Sonny Tat

Sonny Tat

Sonny's academic interests are in team performance in resuscitation, developing learning platforms for medical education, and transitioning academics to the digital age. Sonny created PEMAcademy, a collaborative regional blog for PEM education and is the Editor-In-Chief of the PEMNetwork Blog. His hobbies include photography and cooking.