Democratic Presidential Candidate Gen. Wesley Clark Issues Economic Proposal With State Medicaid Funds
Presidential candidate Gen. Wesley Clark (D) on Wednesday issued a $100 billion economic and homeland security proposal that would include funds for state Medicaid programs, the Richmond Times-Dispatch reports (Richmond-Times Dispatch, 9/24). The proposal would provide $10 billion over two years to help state and local governments cover the cost of Medicaid and other health care programs. In addition, the proposal would establish a Homeland and Economic Security Fund of $40 billion over two years. The federal government would use the fund in part to train and provide equipment for first responders; to prepare hospitals and other health care facilities for biological and chemical attacks; and to develop new equipment to detect and respond to biological and chemical attacks (Clark proposal text). Clark said that he would cover the cost of the proposal with funds made available by repealing Bush administration tax cuts for households with annual incomes of more than $200,000. Some other Democratic presidential candidates raised concerns about the proposal. A spokesperson for former Vermont Gov. Howard Dean (D) said that the proposal "does not address how General Clark would begin to balance the budget nor how to pay for any meaningful health care for the millions of Americans who need it" (Fournier, Associated Press, 9/24). The proposal is available online. Note: You must have Adobe Acrobat Reader to view the proposal.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.