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Bush Health Budget: FDA Gets More, CDC Gets Less.

Bush Health Budget

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Bush would also provide tax credits to encourage the purchase of private health insurance, but the Senate last week voted its support for $28 billion in additional spending for the uninsured.

And there is likely to be congressional pressure to increase spending elsewhere; last week, the Senate voted to allow greater increases in spending in a variety of domestic programs.

Meanwhile, Thompson Monday addressed two nonbudgetary health matters that have been of keen national interest.

  • He termed it "doubtful" that he will reverse the Clinton administration's decision not to permit reimportation of pharmaceuticals. Legislation was enacted last year permitting exported drugs to be brought back into the country, but HHS would have to certify that the reimportation program was safe for Americans before it could begin. Former HHS secretary Donna Shalala blocked this measure on the grounds that the government could not guarantee the drugs' safety or cost.
  • He said a "short delay" is likely a decision on how to proceed on medical privacy rules. April 14 is supposed to be the implementation deadline for first-ever national standards to assure the confidentiality of individual health records. But Thompson said that he has been flooded by public comments and would need additional time to digest the information. The Clinton administration originally issued the rules, but Thompson is expected to loosen them to be less burdensome on the healthcare industry.

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