Monday, September 17, 2007

SCHIP Agreement "Near"

There are a number of published reports indicating that the House and Senate have reached an agreement to extend SCHIP along the lines of the earlier bi-partisan Senate agreement.

That would mean a $35 billion SCHIP expansion paid for entirely be a new 61 cent tobacco tax.

Bush says he would veto such a deal. While the Senate seems veto proof on this one, the House is another matter.

If Bush is successful in vetoing the latest compromise, then we will see a temporary extension of SCHIP and the longer-term solution will be booted to the year-end budget work where it is now certain that the Medicare Advantage payments and the upcoming 10% Medicare physician fee cut will be dealt with.

There is a real chance that there will be a huge budget showdown between the Democratic-led Congress and the President late in the year throwing all of these issues into doubt.

Those of you who read this blog know that this is what we have been predicting.

Earlier post and SCHIP history: SCHIP Negotiations Not Going Well--Medicare Physician Fee Cuts and Medicare Advantage Payments Hang in the Balance


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