1. Leavitt, Judith K. MEd, RN, FAAN

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Bush's Budget Raises Ire

Nursing groups are among those expressing concern over the 2008 budget proposal President George W. Bush submitted to Congress on February 5. The budget calls for making Medicare beneficiaries pay higher premiums for prescription drugs and physician visits, eliminating the annual indexing of income to require more people to pay higher premiums, and cutting payments to providers of Medicare and Medicaid services (affecting many NPs) by 8% to 10%. In addition, the proposal increases only slightly the funding for the State Children's Health Insurance Program, to be reauthorized this year. The increase is too small to maintain enrollment at current levels and would eliminate coverage for children from households with an income of more than 200% of the federal poverty level.


Another major concern is the sharply reduced funding proposed for programs supporting medical and nursing education. Nursing education monies would be cut by $44 million, and funding for graduate nursing education (currently at $57 million) would be eliminated. The proposal increases by $13 million the Nurse Education Loan Repayment and Scholarship Program. See the Department of Health and Human Services budget in brief at


A statement from the Health Professions and Nursing Education Coalition opposing the cuts can be found at