Skyrocketing budget deficit may affect next president's healthcare plans

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A soaring budget deficit could ultimately hurt future proposals for healthcare, a new report suggests.

The federal budget deficit is estimated to reach $382 billion in fiscal year 2009, according to the White House Office of Management and Budget mid-session review released this week. That is largely due to the $150 billion economic stimulus package enacted earlier this year and slower economic growth.

Such a large deficit, compounded by growth in Medicare and Social Security, could stymie the next president's plans to reform healthcare, The New York Times reported. Both Republican presumptive nominee John McCain (R-AZ) and Democratic candidate Sen. Barack Obama (D-IL) are campaigning on ambitious healthcare agendas, including revamping the healthcare system.