Congress Unlikely To Approve Major Health Care Proposals From President Bush

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President Bush likely will not have the ability to obtain congressionalapproval of major proposals for health care and other domestic policyareas in his second term amid his "escalating criticism of Congress,intensifying Democratic opposition to funding the war in Iraq and thearrival of a political season with control of the White House andCongress at stake," the Chicago Tribune reports. In his first term, Bush signed legislation that established the Medicare prescription drug benefit.

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Inhis second term, Bush has proposed a series of tax credits to help U.S.residents purchase private health insurance, but the plan has notreceived support from Congress (Silva, Chicago Tribune,11/24). Bush also has proposed to establish a "modern system" of healthcare for veterans in which the "bureaucracy functions as smoothly aspossible" (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 andCongress 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 beseverely limited and that most of his time will be consumed with theIraq 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 requirecongressional approval but affect most U.S. residents, such as hisrecent support of a plan to allow FDA to recall contaminated foods (Stolberg, New York Times, 11/24).

Reprinted with permission from kaisernetwork.org. Youcan view the entire Kaiser DailyHealth Policy Report, search the archives, and sign up for email deliveryat kaisernetwork.org/email. The Kaiser Daily HealthPolicy Report is published for kaisernetwork.org, a free service of The HenryJ. Kaiser Family Foundation.

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