Senate Dems Trying to Block Medicaid Regs Proposed By Bush Administration

Sounds like a turf war to me…

The proposed regulations prevent the states from using federal Medicaid funds to help pay for physician training, place new limits on Medicaid reimbursements to hospitals and nursing homes operated by state and local governments and limit coverage of rehabilitation services for individuals with disabilities and mental illnesses. On Wednesday the House voted 349-62 to approve legislation (HR 5613) that would delay the proposed regs from going into effect for one year, or until April 1, 2009. The vote was 75 more than that needed to override the President’s threatened veto. Can anyone say lame duck?

Delaying the implementation of the rules would cost the federal government about $1.7 billion according to this article in the Washington Times.

The Bush administration says the regulations are necessary to stop states from improperly billing Medicaid for services. HHS spokesperson Kevin Schweers said the House vote “is a victory for budget gimmickry at the expense of U.S. taxpayers,” adding, “The legislation invites states to bill federal taxpayers for what are state responsibilities” (Zhang, Wall Street Journal, 4/24). (see also this Kaiser Daily Health Policy Report.)

Thanks to Professor Dayton for pointing this one out to me.

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