Key Components of the Presidents Health Care Reform Agenda
For Immediate Release
Office of the Press Secretary
February 11, 2002
Key Components of the President's Health Care Reform Agenda
Ensuring Every American Can Choose Affordable Health Care That Meets Their Needs
Improving the Quality of Health Care
- Association Health Plans: The President supports legislation that would make it easier for small employers to pool together to offer their employees better heath coverage options, like many large corporations are able to offer.
- Health Credits: The Presidents budget proposes $89 billion in new health credits to make private health insurance more affordable for low- and middle-income American families who do not have employer-subsidized insurance. [more]
- Better Medicaid and State Childrens Health Insurance Program (S-CHIP): The Bush Administration will continue to work with states and Congress to provide innovative coverage in these important government programs, including health care coverage options. [more]
- Strengthening Health Care for Seniors and the Disabled
- Strengthened Medicare: In his budget and State of the Union address, the President renewed his commitment to provide prescription drug coverage in Medicare, based on the framework for bipartisan legislation that he proposed in July 2001. The Presidents budget includes $190 billion in net additional spending for improving Medicare. The President framework would give seniors better health care options. [more]
- Long-Term Care: The President believes that Americans who need long-term care assistance should have more control over how they receive the care they need.
- Assistance for Caregivers: The Bush Administration proposes an additional tax exemption for persons who take time to care for parent or children who need long-term assistance.
Effective Support to Increase Biomedical Research and Strengthen the Health Care Safety Net
- Patients Bill of Rights: The President strongly supports the passage of a Patients Bill of Rights that leaves medical decisions in the hands of physicians, instead of insurance companiesand urges Congress to reconcile differences and complete its work this year.
- Prohibit Genetic Discrimination: President Bush will work with Congress to develop fair and reasonable legislation that will make genetic discrimination illegal and provide protections consistent with other existing anti-discrimination laws.
- Better Information for Patients: The Administration continues to take steps to make better information on medical treatments and the quality of health care providers available to the public, including new information on nursing home quality.
- Effective Privacy Protections for Medical Records: Electronic medical records hold the promise of improving quality of care for patients and for giving them more control over their health information, but only with strong medical privacy protections give patients the security and confidence they need. The Administration is implementing new medical privacy protections to do just that.
- Support for Biomedical research: The Presidents budget includes a total of $27.3 billion for the National Institutes of Health (NIH), including the final installment of $3.9 billion that will complete the goal of doubling the NIH budget. This increase will allow NIH to expand its efforts to support research to improve the prevention, detection and treatment of diseases.
- Improved Public Health Systems to Better Protect the Public: The Presidents budget includes $5.9 billion for bioterrorism preparedness, an increase of $4.5 billionmore than three times the 2002 base funding level. The budget supports a variety of activities to prevent, identify and respond to incidents of bioterrorismincluding strengthening state and local health infrastructures, enhancing medical communications and disease surveillance capabilities and improving specialized Federal response capabilities. The budget also provides $1.7 billion for NIH research into new vaccines and diagnostics and increased security at its facilities.
- Community Health Centers: The Presidents budget includes $1.5 billion for CHCs, a $114 million increase that would continue the Bush Administrations long-term strategy to add 1,200 new and expanded health center sites over five years and serve an additional 6.1 million patients. The increase for fiscal year 2003 will support 170 new and expanded health centers, and provide services to a million more patients.
- National Health Service Corps: Since 1970, over 20,000 doctors, nurses, dentists, midwives, and mental health clinicians have been placed in medically undeserved communities through the National Health Service Corps (NHSC). The Presidents budget includes $191.5 milliona $44 million increaseto strengthen the NHSC. With the increased funding, the NHSC will provide scholarships or loan assistance to about 1,800 professionals practicing in undeserved areas-an increase of about 500 participants.