Governors want Medicaid details in president's proposed budget

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Governors want to examine details behind the president's fiscal year 2006 budget proposal for Medicaid reform before they reach consensus on the issue, a Virginia governor said last week.

The reform effort, besides looking at ways to save money, should also look at ways to expand access to healthcare, said Virginia Gov. Mark Warner (D), according to the Bureau of National Affairs.

If states talk to the federal government about their use of intergovernmental transfers, there should also be discussion on the government's taking more responsibility for dual eligibles, or those who receive assistance from Medicare and Medicaid, he said. About 70% of nursing home residents are in this category.

Governors could reach consensus on Medicaid reform by this summer, Warner said. Meanwhile, senior Democrats on the House Budget Committee and the House Energy and Commerce Committee asked the White House Office of Management and Budget director for details behind the Medicaid changes suggested in the president's budget proposal to better assess the proposal.

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