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Battle over US healthcare funding

3rd April 2009

Senate Democrats in the United States are trying to push through a US $3.55 trillion budget resolution that includes funding for the country's healthcare reforms.


The chairman of the Senate Budget Committee recently said that Democrats would not stop trying to pass the resolution even if they were blocked by Republicans.

The Democrats are planning a manoeuvre to pass the budget with a majority vote, without Republican support.

Democratic Senator Kent Conrad said that Democrats were planning to include a 'reconciliation' provision in the second budget should the first one fail to pass.

Senator Conrad has previously resisted the idea of including the reconciliation measure should the first budget fail to pass both a Democrat and Republican vote, and said that he strongly preferred not to include one.

He said he did not think including a reconciliation provision was the right way to write fundamental reform legislation, though it would be included if it proved absolutely essential.

The provision would limit the ability Republicans have to extend the debate on healthcare reform, in the hope of forestalling legislation on it.

Conrad said he believed there was a group of Republicans who fully intended to help write major health care reform legislation, and that they ought to be engaged by Democrats.

Republican Senator Judd Gregg of New Hampshire supported a reconciliation provision when Republicans used it in the first year of President George W. Bush's second term. But he did not support it now, he said.

In 2005, when Gregg's party supported the inclusion, there was a debate over drilling in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge.

Likewise, there is currently a major opposition on the part of Republican legislators toward creating a second resolution that would force a majority vote and nullify the influence of their party.

Conrad said that while he had no control over the outcome of the conference, he had stated his strong preference, and would argue that position.

He also defended the current draft of the budget resolution, which includes several cuts reflecting the current US$2.3 trillion overestimate of government revenue.

Conrad said that when the Congressional Budget Office discovered that revenue was overestimated, the conference involved in drafting the budget made a series of cuts and attempted to keep President Obama's priorities intact in doing so.

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Saturday 4th April 2009 @ 6:29

Are you uninsured in America? You should check out the website http://UninsuredAmerica.blogspot.com - John Mayer, California

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Article Information

Title: Battle over US healthcare funding
Author: Luisetta Mudie
Article Id: 10859
Date Added: 3rd Apr 2009


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