Bush Cuts, Spitzer Cuts

I’ve been wondering what, if any, political parallels exist between the president’s plan to slash federal spending on health care programs and Eliot Spitzer’s move to reduce the level state spending.

At a press conference today to denounce the Bush health care cuts, Hillary Clinton and Chuck Schumer both indicated that the president’s proposals are different in substance and spirit than Spitzer’s.

At the same time, Schumer said he didn’t agree with all of Spitzer’s cuts, although he declined to specify which ones.

Shortly afterwards, Hillary singled out the president’s multi-million-dollar cut to the Graduate Medical Education program (GME).

She said, “And Ken Raske [President of the Greater New York Hospital Association] just told me the budget eliminates Medicaid payments for something called Graduate Medical Education. Now that would cut, according to Ken’s calculation, $1.2 billion to the state of New York. Now, what is that money used for? It is used to train physicians, nurses, health care professionals. That’s one of the reasons why America’s health care is so good. Because we invest in the training of those who take care of us. That too is on the chopping block.”

When I asked Hillary about Spitzer’s intention to cut the same program, she said, “I don’t know.”

– Azi Paybarah