Democrats' healthcare legislation fails to gain traction so far
The new Democratic Congress made promises early on to pass certain pivotal healthcare reform bills, but so far none of those bills have become law. Wrangling over continued funding for the war in Iraq has, in part, held up passage.The Senate failed to pass a bill that would have allowed the federal government to negotiate prices directly with pharmaceutical companies under the Medicare prescription drug benefit. Then, last Tuesday the president vetoed an Iraq spending bill that contained key healthcare measures. These included a one-year moratorium on a federal rule that would reduce Medicaid reimbursements to county and state nursing home providers. The president has also said he would veto the Senate version of a stem cell research bill.
Meanwhile, the House is expected to vote early this week on moving the fiscal year 2008 budget resolution to conference. The budget resolution probably will not include President Bush's proposal to cut Medicare or Medicaid funding.