Resurrected budget package no slam dunk as talks heat up
Murray, D-Wash., and Sen. Tim Kaine, D-Va., penned a pared down child care proposal estimated at $150 billion to $200 billion, but Manchin’s insistence on permanence hurts to this push. This is because individual committee plays cannot increase deficits beyond the 10-year budget window under the Byrd rule, and the HELP committee has no offsets available to prevent this from happening. produce.
Another provision, estimated at $209 billion to be made permanent, would increase Medicaid funding for home and community care for the elderly and disabled as an alternative to institutional care. Since this proposal falls within the purview of the Finance Committee, it would likely pass Byrd’s test due to the “over the year” savings generated by tax increases and prescription drug provisions, which would perhaps give more life than the child care program.
In a May 24 memo to the Senate Democratic Caucus, Bob Casey, D-Pa., wrote that without permanent funding for home care, “states will have to reverse or dramatically reduce service expansions and improvements to the workforce they have achieved” thanks to the assistance provided in last year’s Pandemic Relief Act. On Friday, HHS extended the availability of those funds for an additional year, through March 2025.
Closing the health insurance coverage gap in states that have not expanded Medicaid, expanding the child tax credit, and raising the $10,000 cap on state and local tax deductions are also priorities for the Democrats whose votes will be needed.
In case Democrats can’t agree on a larger package, another option being discussed is to focus it just on health care: Combining the $300 billion in drug savings from prescription with the cost of $220 billion to make Medicare subsidies permanent.