Aide: Bush could slash Medicaid by up to $100 billion over five years

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President Bush's 2006 budget proposal could include Medicaid cuts of between $80 billion and $100 billion over five years, a House Democratic aide said this week.

A Republican congressional aide, meanwhile, said the Medicare Payment Advisory Commission's recent spending recommendations indicate areas where payment could be reduced, if lawmakers move ahead to reduce the federal deficit. The commission has proposed freezing Medicare payments to nursing homes in 2006.

Both Congressional aides spoke under condition of anonymity, according to the Bureau of National Affairs. Medicare and Medicaid are both targets for cutbacks as the President attempts to reduce the deficit, which hit a record $413 billion last year.

The Republican aide also said there is bipartisan interest in introducing pay-for-performance provisions into Medicare, which needs the statutory authority to pay one provider more than another for delivering high-quality care.