President Bush’s FY 2006 budget could have long-lasting effects on several health programs. If enacted as is, the budget would trim $60 billion in the growth in Medicaid spending over the next 10 years. At the same time, the budget offers $11 billion in new money to enroll children in Medicaid and the State Children’s Health Insurance Program. It would provide $74 billion in tax incentives to help the uninsured buy coverage. Some congressional budget leaders have signaled their intention to find budget savings in another entitlement program – Medicare.
After the hearings are over and the votes taken, how many of the president’s health initiatives will remain? What budget proposals originating with Congress might be adopted? How will discretionary programs – like the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and the National Institutes of Health – be affected? What are the long-term implications for health care providers and consumers, and for the deficit?
The Alliance for Health Reform and The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation co-sponsored a February 18 brunch briefing to answer these and other questions. Panelists were Cindy Mann, of the Georgetown University Health Policy Institute; Ray Scheppach, of the National Governors Association; and Gail Wilensky, of Project HOPE. Stuart Schear of The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and Ed Howard of the Alliance for Health Reform co-moderated.
Full Transcript (Adobe Acrobat PDF)