IN OTHER WORDS
The end of the Bush presidency is drawing near — time for the administration to show its true priorities. Today’s example: The president would rather continue his profligate fiscal policies than provide Americans with the services to stay healthy or to cope with disabilities.
President Bush vetoed the extension of the state Children’s Health Insurance Program because he wanted to confine it to those just above the federal poverty line. Congress wanted to keep it available, at a state’s option, to families earning between $41,300 and $61,950 for a family of four. Medicaid is a sprawling $236 billion program. Dennis Smith, the program’s director, may be right when he says he can find waste and abuse that ought to be excised. But the administration would have less need to reduce services were it not for the tax cuts it muscled through in Bush’s first term, which are responsible for a revenue loss of $250 billion this year.
Congress has put a moratorium on a Bush proposal to cut funds for medical education. Senator Edward Kennedy and Representative John Dingell of Michigan are doing their best to maintain funding for programs that help people with disabilities. Lawmakers need to do whatever they can to save the other healthcare programs during the remainder of the Bush administration. — The Boston Globe