What: All Issues : Fair Taxation : S. Con. Res. 23. Fiscal 2004 Budget Resolution/Vote to Improve Access to Military Health Care for National Guardsmen.
 Who: All Members
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S. Con. Res. 23. Fiscal 2004 Budget Resolution/Vote to Improve Access to Military Health Care for National Guardsmen.
senate Roll Call 81     Mar 25, 2003
Y = Conservative
N = Progressive
Winning Side:
Conservative

Before they are called to active duty, approximately twenty percent of soldiers in the National Guard lack health insurance; considerable amounts must therefore be spent to nurse those soldiers into good health before they can be sent into harm's way. In an effort to make health care more accessible for National Guardsmen, Senator Blanche Lincoln (DAR) offered an amendment to the 2004 budget resolution providing $20.3 billion over ten years to expand health coverage offered through the TRI-CARE program; the military's health care system. The costs associated with expanding coverage under TRI-CARE would be offset by reducing the amount provided in the budget resolution for tax cuts. An estimated 65 million Americans are currently without health insurance. For those individuals, the costs of health care often exceed their ability to pay. Ideally, all Americans would have access to adequate health care. Progressives therefore supported Lincoln's effort because it extends health care benefits to Guardsmen who might otherwise be unable to afford proper health treatments. Despite unanimous support among all forty-five Democrats, Lincoln's amendment failed to garner majority support in the Senate and was defeated by a vote of 46-51.

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