Congress Not Likely To Address Health Care Proposals in President Bush’s Budget Plan
Health care proposals included in the fiscal year 2005 budget proposal released by President Bush on Monday "might have to wait" because of "time restraints and the difficulty of moving legislation in an election year," Bill Hoagland, director of budget and appropriations for Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist (R-Tenn.), said Tuesday at a Kaiser Family Foundation Webcast forum, CongressDaily reports. Hoagland said that in the 62 days that remain in the current legislative session, Congress likely will not address proposals to provide refundable tax credits to help uninsured U.S. residents purchase health coverage and close a loophole in the Medicaid upper payment limit. In addition, Hoagland said that Congress likely will not approve a proposal by Bush to eliminate a program that provides grants to help train nurses, physicians and other health care professionals or address a proposal to encourage the use of health savings accounts, which allow individuals to save tax-free funds for future medical expenses. However, Hoagland said that Congress will likely approve a proposal by Bush to increase funds for efforts to fight HIV/AIDS worldwide (Heil, CongressDaily, 2/4).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.