Hurricane relief legislation blocked

Legislation sponsored by Senators Charles Grassley (R-Iowa) and Max Baucus (D-Mont.), which would extend Medicaid coverage for hurricane victims through the end of 2006, was blocked in the Senate yesterday by a group of Republican senators who said the plan would unnecessarily inflate government spending. On Monday, Sen. Ted Kennedy (D-Mass.) and Sen. Michael Enzi (R-Wyo.) unveiled an alternate proposal which would provide federal funding for evacuee's private health insurance coverage for three months. Grassley said he hopes to make progress on his bill this week: "We plan to work with four or five key senators to see if we can overcome their objections."

- see this story from The Washington Post