Trump's budget earmarks $20M for golf star Jack Nicklaus' hospital venture

Morgan Haefner - Print  | 

President Donald Trump's proposed $4.75 trillion budget for fiscal year 2020 would direct $20 million of funding for a hospital program backed by golf legend Jack Nicklaus, according to Politico.

Under President Trump's proposal, HHS would earmark $20 million for a mobile children's hospital program at Nicklaus Children's Hospital in Miami. The hospital is named after Mr. Nicklaus.

Two individuals familiar with the matter told Politico that Mr. Nicklaus lobbied President Trump on a Florida golf course. The sources also said Mr. Nicklaus spoke about the funding with HHS Secretary Alex Azar and then-Director of the Office of Management and Budget Mick Mulvaney.

In the 162-page HHS budget proposal, the funding for the hospital program backed by Mr. Nicklaus appears in one sentence: "The $20 million increase will continue support for the pediatric disaster care pilot initiative which aims to improve pediatric care during emergencies." The two individuals familiar with the matter confirmed to Politico the sentence referred to Nicklaus Children's Hospital's mobile children's hospital program.

An HHS spokesperson told the publication that it "will initiate two competitively awarded pediatric disaster care pilot projects that aim to improve care during emergencies by addressing planning and response capabilities that support the specific needs of children." The agency did not address Mr. Nicklaus' involvement.

Nicklaus Children's Hospital did not respond to Politico's requests for comment.

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