Children’s Insurance Gets Funding Boost in Dems’ Budget Plan
Senate Budget Committee Chair Ken Conrad (D-N.D.) on Wednesday plans to introduce a fiscal year 2008 budget resolution that will include funds for an expansion of SCHIP, as well as billions of additional funds for health care for veterans and other domestic programs, the Washington Post reports.
According to Conrad, the budget resolution will include $15 billion of the $50 billion over five years that Democrats seek to expand SCHIP. He said that the additional $35 billion could become available through spending reductions in other areas or new revenue.
In addition, the budget resolution would include $3.5 billion more than President Bush has requested for health care for veterans (Montgomery, Washington Post, 3/14).
The committee will consider the budget resolution on Wednesday and Thursday, and the full Senate might vote on the proposal next week (Cohn, CongressDaily, 3/14).
The supplemental appropriations bill for the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan includes technical corrections to the 2005 Deficit Reduction Act related to Medicaid and clarification about proof-of-citizenship documentation for applicants and beneficiaries, according to a committee report attached to the legislation, CongressDaily reports.
The technical corrections would state that children enrolled in Medicaid qualify for Early Periodic Screening Detection and Treatment as they did before the enactment of the Deficit Reduction Act and that family planning clinics and certain university clinics could continue to purchase prescription drugs from manufacturers at less than average cost. In addition, the legislation would clarify that Medicaid applicants and beneficiaries would have a "reasonable time period" to provide proof of citizenship and that children born in the U.S. are citizens, regardless of the citizenship status of their parents.
The bill also would repeal Medicare language enacted last year that allows limited continuous enrollment in Medicare Advantage plans without prescription drug coverage but does not allow beneficiaries to end participation in Medicare Advantage plans after March 31 or enroll in the prescription drug benefit throughout the year (Johnson, CongressDaily, 3/13).