Budget Reconciliation an Oft-Used Tactic To Pass Health Care Measures
Some Republican lawmakers argue that it would be inappropriate to pass health care reform legislation using the budget reconciliation process, but the procedure has been used numerous times in the past for other health care measures, NPR's "Morning Edition" reports.
During the mid-1980s, Congress passed a health insurance coverage extension provision under COBRA, which was a budget reconciliation act. COBRA also included a measure requiring hospitals that accept Medicare and Medicaid funds to screen all emergency department patients, regardless of their ability to pay.
In addition, Congress used budget reconciliation to pass a number of bills expanding Medicaid. In 1997, a budget reconciliation bill established the Children's Health Insurance Program.The budget reconciliation process also has been used to make changes to Medicare (Rovner, "Morning Edition," NPR, 2/24). This is part of the California Healthline Daily Edition, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.