Budget conferees nix potential Medicaid cuts

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The House and Senate budget conferees finalized the fiscal year 2005 budget, opting not to try to cut Medicaid funding. Much to the relief of providers, lawmakers threw out a provision in the budget that would have reduced funding by up to $2.2 billion over five years.

The reconciled 2005 budget plan allocates $288 billion for Medicare and $252 billion for Medicaid, the State Children's Health Insurance Program and other health programs.

The House is expected to vote on the reconciled 2005 budget plan before the Senate. Both votes are expected this week.