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Post-Standard, The (Newspaper) - January 28, 2005, Syracuse, New York Friday. January THE POST-STANDARD PAGE A-7 WASHINGTON Bush wants to raise plane ticket fees to pay for security The Associated Press Washington A fee charged to airline travelers to help pay for airport security would more than double under President Bush's spending pro- posal for the Homeland Security Department. Bush's plan calls for boosting the security fee from to for a one-way airline ticket and from a maximum of to for multiple legs. The hikes are C1 W1_ lu vi. lion. Debby McElroy, president of the Regional Airline Associa- tion, criticized the proposal as taxing aa industry that already burdens. "This could put further pres- sure on airline revenues at a time when many carriers are strug- gling for their very McElroy said. James C. May, president and CEO of the Air Transport Asso- ciation, said the proposal "dem- onstrates a complete failure 10 comprehend the economics of a crippled industry." Homeland Security Depart- ment spokesman Brian Roehr- kasse declined comment before the budget is released. Bush plans to submit his bud- get proposal to Congress on Feb. 7. Portions of the Homeland Se- curity budget were obtained Thursday by The Associated Press. The White House wants to spend billion on the agency in fiscal year 2006, which begins Oct. 1. That's nearly the same amount as the current year. However, the department would see a 7 percent increase in money earmarked for specific security programs, from bil- lion to billion. More people eligible for defibrillators The Associated Press Washington About Medicare beneficiaries, some of whom have never suf- fered cardiac arrest, became eli- gible for coverage of expensive defibrillator implants Thursday in a move that could cost bil- lion over five years. The catch: Those covered for the roughly procedure must agree to release details about their cases to a database shared by hospitals, Medicare officials said. "It's done in a way that pre- serves patient said Mark B. McClellan, admin- istrator of the Centers for Medi- r .1 p _ CtliC tUAU- .LV i.tU.lv- O1 tA Owl which administers Medicare and sets the terms of coverage. The data could help the medical com- munity determine who is most helped by the device. The new coverage and its terms became effective Thurs- day, McClellan said. The decision increases the number of those eligible for im- plants by a third, to he said. Because not all of those eli- gible will immediately seek the implants, called implantable cardioverter defibrillators, or ICDs, McClellan estimated that people will receive and be covered for them in the first year. Medicare has covered the de- vices for patients who already have suffered potentially fatal heart rhythms. Officials decided to expand the coverage hi part because evidence suggests that they save the lives of people who are at risk of, but haven't yet suffered, such episodes. The agency also expanded coverage for ultrasounds for peo- ple suffering from fractures that aren't healing properly, but only after surgery fails. The ICD decision is based on new clinical studies, including a government-funded survey last year that showed the technology significantly reduced deaths in patients with even mild heart disease. A study published last week indicated that ICDs could save lives in people at risk of and The Buth plan calls for million to be spent in the next two years for new equip- ment to detect explosives on air- line passengers. Most U.S. air- line passengers aren't screened for explosives before boarding a plane. The commission that in- vestigated the Sept. at- tacks called that a vulnerability that Congress must address. Another budget provision would set aside million to complete installation of high- speed computer connections to replace dial-up connections used by about half of the nation's air- ports. Officials of the Transportation Security Administration have said the upgrade is needed be- cause some of the nation's larg- est airports do not have tele- phone or computer connections among administrative, screening j and baggage areas. That poses a security risk. Dr. Denis F. Branson Board Certified Ptatttc Surgeon MMmaSy Invasive Maximum RfstdU Treatment Tailored to Your Needs potentially fatal heart flutter- ng, called ventricular fibrilla- tion. The stopwatch-sized ICDs are implanted tinder the skin and de- tect irregularities in heart rhythm. When dangerous flutters occur, they deliver shocks to the bean to regulate it. Go to the Centets for Medicare BUY ONE VIDEO PHONE AND GET ONE FREE SONY ERICSSON zSOOa MU01MEDIA MESSAGING EMMS) AOL'INSTANT MESSENGER NOKIA 6010 FREE SSMCUGREEKHt Join forces with Cingular to help contribute to the Tsunami relief effort. 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