Democrats to take fresh look at Bush's Medicaid policies

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The newly elected Democrat-controlled Congress may act to revise certain Medicaid policies put into effect by the Bush administration. Included are policies that give states more flexibility in the administration of their Medicaid programs, sources on Capitol Hill say.

Democrats have over the years raised concerns about the Bush administration's use of the waivers process to allow states to change eligibility and benefit offerings for Medicaid beneficiaries. They likely will scrutinize certain provisions of the Deficit Reduction Act, which give more flexibility to states, according to a report in The Hill newspaper.

Democrats fear the programs take the financial burden off the government and put it onto poor beneficiaries. The new Deficit Reduction Act provisions could mean significant changes in benefits and out-of-pocket costs for families, they say.