Governors urge Congress to stop proposed Medicaid cuts

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The National Governors Association this week garnered praise from nursing home providers for imploring Congress to stop the administration from cutting $5 billion from federal Medicaid funding over five years.

The pending reductions, which are slated to take effect on Sept. 1, "will undermine our nursing and assisted living facilities' ongoing quality improvement efforts and overstep the statutory authority governors need to maximize the efficiency and effectiveness of their Medicaid programs," said Bruce Yarwood, president and CEO of the American Health Care Association and the National Center for Assisted Living.

In their Feb. 23 letter to House and Senate leaders, governors said that the administration seems intent on implementing the proposed changes without any input from Congress or states. A new report in the journal Health Affairs says the Medicaid program needs real reform because of the large variations among states in benefits and coverage, and because of the escalating high costs of the program.