Bush Budget Outlines Health Spending Increases
The $1.9 trillion spending plan that President Bush is set to unveil next week contains both spending increases in several areas of health care and a reduction in some health initiatives introduced during the Clinton administration, the Washington Post reports. The Senate this week will vote on a budget resolution -- passed by the House last week -- that is "based on a more rudimentary spending outline that Bush sent to Congress a month ago." Bush will reveal his specific spending plan next Monday (Goldstein/Kessler, Washington Post, 4/1). In his radio address Saturday, he outlined several health care funding increases that he has proposed:
- $25 billion in Medicaid spending;
- A 12% increase in funding for childhood disease research at the NIH;
- Funding for 1,200 new community health centers;
- A $22 million increase in CDC funding for the agency's childhood immunization program; and
- A $94 million increase for the Women, Infants and Children nutrition program (Bush radio address, 3/31).
The Post reports that Bush has decided to "phase out" the 1999 "Community Access" program, which helps to promote cooperation between public hospitals and community health centers in tracking and caring for uninsured patients. In its place, the president "will add $124 million to finance community health centers and clinics for migrant workers." In addition, the spending plan calls for a reduction in subsidies for medical training at children's hospitals from $235 million to $200 million (Washington Post, 4/1).