What: All Issues : Aid to Less Advantaged People, at Home & Abroad : The Chronically Ill : S Con Res 18. Fiscal 2006 Budget Resolution/Vote to Express the Sense of the Senate that "the Health and Human Services (HHS) Secretary, Working With a Bipartisan Group of Governors and Stakeholders, Should Make Recommendations for Changes to Medicare." (2005 senate Roll Call 57)
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S Con Res 18. Fiscal 2006 Budget Resolution/Vote to Express the Sense of the Senate that "the Health and Human Services (HHS) Secretary, Working With a Bipartisan Group of Governors and Stakeholders, Should Make Recommendations for Changes to Medicare."
senate Roll Call 57     Mar 17, 2005
Progressive Position:
Nay
Progressive Result:
Win

During Senate consideration of the 2006 Budget Resolution-a non-binding budgetary blueprint for taxing and spending goals for the upcoming year and beyond-Senator Gregg (R-NH) offered an amendment which would have expressed the sense of the Senate that "the Health and Human Services (HHS) Secretary, working with a bipartisan group of governors and stakeholders, should make recommendations for changes to Medicare." Sense of the Senate amendments are non-binding resolutions which lack the force of law and are often symbolic in nature. Conservatives voted in favor of Gregg's amendment based on their view that Medicaid needed major reforms to remain financially solvent. Progressives opposed Gregg's amendment on the grounds that it might allow HHS Secretary Leavitt too much wiggle room in dealing with state governors, a previously-enacted requirement of any Medicaid reform effort. According to Senator Gordon Smith (R-OR), "[the Gregg amendment] tries to put the Senate on record as requiring the Senate Finance Committee, under the Damocles sword of reconciliation, to report out an agreement that Secretary Leavitt may reach with any group of Governors-not even a majority, not even from the National Governors Association." On a close vote of 49-51, the Gregg amendment was rejected and the nebulous "bipartisan group of governors" language was not adopted as a satisfactory requirement for Medicaid reform.

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