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Bush Budget Cuts Federal Health Programs Vital to the Health of All Children
Date:2/8/2008

n which is $43 million less than its FY 2000 funding level.

"This is a tragedy, because 2009 marks yet another year where the President has failed to make children a priority in his federal budget," said First Focus President Bruce Lesley. "This is unquestionably a threat to the long-term health and future productivity of the nation, the exact opposite of the kind of investment-oriented budget the nation needs."

The FY 2009 budget includes 22 legislative proposals to Medicaid totaling $17.4 billion over five years and three administrative proposals totaling $800 million over five years. According to First Focus and the National Association of Children's Hospitals, particularly troubling is the proposal to eliminate the law protecting children with special health care needs from being enrolled in managed care without regard to public oversight and federal assurance they would have access to the providers they need.

The President's budget reductions for Medicaid are in addition to 11 Medicaid and State Children's Health Insurance Program (SCHIP) policy changes released in 2007. The 2007 policy changes would decrease Medicaid spending by at least $12 billion.

"If Congress doesn't block nearly a dozen pending Medicaid and SCHIP rules, as well as the more $19 billion in new proposed cuts, programs important to children will have been cut by more than $31 billion. The bottom line is - such enormous cuts would represent a frontal assault on health care programs that benefit children," said Lawrence McAndrews, president and CEO of the National Association of Children's Hospitals. "Sadly, it's not clear to us that the Administration even understands the effect its combined cuts would have on children's health, much less children's readiness to learn and grow up to become productive members of society."

The President's budget does include an increase of $19.7 billion over five years for SCHIP, the State Children's Health Insurance
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SOURCE National Association of Children's Hospitals and Related
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