A conference committee must meet to work out the differences between the House- and Senate-passed fiscal 2005 budget proposals. The House on Thursday voted 215 to 212 to pass a budget resolution that includes up to $2.2 billion in Medicaid cuts over five years. The Senate passed its own fiscal 2005 budget resolution earlier this month without any Medicaid cuts. Also, a bill that would establish grants totaling $3 million in fiscal 2005 to help hospitals and organ procurement organizations coordinate organ donations passed the Senate unanimously, after clearing the House by a vote of 414-2 earlier this week. In addition to the grants for hospitals and organ procurement agencies, the bill would authorize $5 million for HHS to cover travel and other nonmedical expenses for living organ donors and $15 million for public awareness campaigns and studies on improving recovery and donation rates. -- by Tony Fong
2005 budget, organ donor bill advance
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