Governors unite to fight Bush's proposed Medicaid cuts

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Governors of both parties have aligned to oppose President Bush's Medicaid cuts. They plan to discuss alternatives to the cuts and Medicaid reform at their annual meeting in Washington D.C. this weekend.

Bush's budget proposes reducing federal spending on Medicaid for states by $40 billion and targeting those states that the federal government says wrongly use Medicaid funds for other government purposes. Medicaid pays for a majority of nursing home costs.
 
Governors, who are opposed to outright cuts, also want to have greater flexibility in running their programs. A group of bipartisan governors has been working on a plan to bring the latest Medicaid reform ideas to the governors at this weekend's conference.
 
Some proposals: Democrat Ed Rendell in Pennsylvania would raise copays on drugs and limit how often Medicaid would cover medical services. Republican Mark Sanford in South Carolina proposes giving Medicaid recipients control of a set amount of money through a debit card, letting them choose how to spend their health care dollars on most services.