Congress Unlikely To OK Bush Health Care Proposals
President Bush likely will not have the ability to obtain congressional approval of major proposals for health care and other domestic policy areas in his second term amid his "escalating criticism of Congress, intensifying Democratic opposition to funding the war in Iraq and the arrival of a political season with control of the White House and Congress at stake," the Chicago Tribune reports.
In his first term, Bush signed legislation that established the Medicare prescription drug benefit. In his second term, Bush has proposed a series of tax credits to help U.S. residents purchase private health insurance, but the plan has not received support from Congress (Silva, Chicago Tribune, 11/24).
Bush also has proposed to establish a "modern system" of health care for veterans in which the "bureaucracy functions as smoothly as possible" (Ward, Washington Times, 11/25).
Norman Ornstein, a resident scholar at the American Enterprise Institute, said that health care is one domestic policy area in which Bush and Congress might reach some agreement by the end of his second term (Chicago Tribune, 11/24).
However, "Bush knows that his ability to accomplish anything new will be severely limited and that most of his time will be consumed with the Iraq war and the economy," according to the Washington Times (Washington Times, 11/25). As a result, Bush has shifted his domestic policy focus to "kitchen table issues" -- smaller proposals that do not require congressional approval but affect most U.S. residents, such as his recent support of a plan to allow FDA to recall contaminated foods (Stolberg, New York Times, 11/24).