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Mar
4

Medicaid round up

News in brief.
The Congressional Budget Office projects potential savings from Pres. Bush’s Medicaid cuts will be some $11 billion less (over the next five years) than the White House’s claims.
The National Governors’ meeting ended without an agreement from the governors on Medicaid program cuts, changes, or alterations. Here’s the news from California HealthLine on where the effort stands…
“We’ll now work to build on [common ground] and hopefully come up with a proposal that will be bipartisan and that we can take to Congress for the purpose of being able to substantially improve Medicaid and have it reach its promise,” Leavitt said (Smith, Salt Lake Tribune, 3/2).
Governors’ Concerns
Interviews with “numerous governors” indicate that the “consensus described by Leavitt does not exist,” according to the Times (New York Times, 3/2). “We are still far apart,” New Mexico Gov. Bill Richardson (D) said.
Ohio Gov. Bob Taft (R) said, “With the respect to the budget itself, we’ve made clear we oppose [the administration’s cuts], and we’ll see how that issue works out here in the next few weeks.”
Wisconsin Gov. Jim Doyle (D) said the administration’s proposed changes are “not acceptable,” adding, “What they are saying to states is, ‘We’re going to cut you and give you more flexibility,’ and the flexibility is you can cut people off.”
Indiana Gov. Mitch Daniels (R), Bush’s former budget director, said, “There’s a lot of substantive agreement but honest tactical disagreement” (Washington Post, 3/2).
Don’t expect this to happen any time soon…


Joe Paduda is the principal of Health Strategy Associates

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