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Obama Administration Releases Proposed FY 2010 Budget- "Downpayment" on Health Reform Highlighted

On February 26, the White House released the broad outlines of a FY 2010 budget.  The document contains few details on proposed funding levels of individual programs.  However, it does set forth budget priorities in a number of key areas, most prominently comprehensive health care reform.

It is expected that a more detailed proposal, including specific funding levels for domestic programs, is forthcoming from the Obama Administration, by early April.  However, the budget released today does set forth the outlines of the President's priorities with respect to health reform. Chief among these is a $634 billion fund designed to finance expansion of health coverage for the uninsured over the coming decade - what is being termed "a major downpayment toward universal coverage."  This would be financed by reductions to Medicare managed care plans (known as Medicare Advantage), reductions in Medicare payments to doctors and hospitals and allowing certain tax breaks to expire.

Click here to view the President's budget submission to Congress.