Physician's Money Digest, May 15 2003, Volume 10, Issue 9

The proposed 2004 federal budget,which will be effective onOctober 1, 2003, calls for a 4.2%increase in federal spending and a4.7% boost in revenues. Eventhough the rise in revenues will outpaceincreased spending, the Bushadministration's $2.2-trillion budgetwill still result in an estimated$304-billion deficit in 2004. That'sif the budget survives the legislativeprocess in roughly the same shapeas it is now. That outcome is highlyunlikely, however, since it's alreadydrawing flak from Democrats andeven members of the president'sown party. The provisions that areprobably going to fire up somesticky debates are accelerated taxcuts and proposed reforms of theMedicare and Medicaid programs.