* Guarantee an adequate level of health care to everyone and make it affordable and accessible for all citizens and residents-especially the 47 million currently uninsured-by managing the cost of premiums, co-payments, and deductibles.
* Guarantee Health care services are affordable to middle-class and working-class families.
* Empower each American to pick his or her own doctor-and enable patients and doctors, not insurance company bureaucrats, to make critical medical decisions.
* Empower Medicare and others to negotiate lower drug prices for seniors by supporting the purchase of less expensive prescription drugs from countries like Canada.
Clarke: Bush's Plans to Cut Health Care Must Be Stopped
In the first major vote of 2006, the House of Representatives voted for massive cuts to Medicaid, Medicare and student loans. The so-called Deficit Reduction Act (S. 1932), passed 216-214 without a single Democratic vote.
The intention of the budget-cutting bill was to reduce a rising budget deficit, yet because of the tax cuts to the upper income brackets the bill will actually increase the deficit.
Spending on Medicaid will be reduced by $6.9 billion over five years. The reductions will be achieved in part by cutting benefits to Medicaid recipients and reducing the amount Medicaid pays for drugs.
Medicare spending will be reduced by $6.4 billion over the next five years. Home health care services and Medicare payments to doctors will be cut to help achieve the reductions.