Bad News From the Senate

Entitlement programs are a disaster: they are out of control budget-busters, on automatic pilot, that are eating up the federal budget and, if left unchecked, will guarantee tax increases for a generation. Today the Senate delivered a symbolic rebuke to the Bush administration’s effort to make even token reductions in the rate of growth of Medicaid, voting 52-48 to restore all Medicaid reductions.
The administration had proposed trimming the proposed Medicaid budget by a whopping 1%–as usual, not cutting Medicaid, but merely reducing its exploding rate of growth. Even this modest effort was too much for seven Republican Senators, who joined with the Democrats in opposing the administration’s minimal effort to control the burgeoning federal budget. Sadly, one of those voting to keep Medicaid out of control was Minnesota’s Senator Norm Coleman. We supported Norm’s campaign enthusiastically two years ago. But, as I told Norm’s office today, we did not do so in the expectation that his voting record would mirror that of Mark Dayton. Today was a sad day in the Senate. The fact that the House is likely to insist on a partial re-instatement of the President’s effort to trim the metastasizing Medicaid budget is small comfort.

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