Democratic leaders in the House struck back against President Bush and Republican members of Congress in a memo that sets a quick timetable to tackle next week what they call their signature Democratic health achievement platform.
The memo lists as top priorities the reauthorization and expansion of the State Childrens Health Insurance Program, provisions to update Medicare physician reimbursement and other provisions aimed at enhancing Medicare benefits and investment in rural health.
On SCHIP, the memowritten by leaders of the Energy and Commerce and Ways and Means committeescalls the administrations stance on reauthorization faulty. In recent weeks, White House officials have attacked the largely Democratic-led effort to expand SCHIP at a cost of about $50 billion over five years. In one health policy speech, Bush called the effort a massive expansion of government healthcare.
But the Democratic leaders reject that characterization. With strong public support, we will present a bill that administration and vulnerable Republicans cannot afford to block, the memo states. -- by Matthew DoBias