Governors win delay on push to cut Medicaid pay

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The nation's governors apparently have won a battle of wills with House leaders - at least temporarily - over when Medicaid reform proposals would be debated.

House Budget Committee Chairman Rep. Jim Nussle (R-IA) and House Energy and Commerce Committee Chairman Rep. Joe Barton (R-TX) said on Wednesday they and the National Governors Association had tentatively agreed to put off discussion of Medicaid proposals until fall. The governors said they wanted to separate Medicaid funding talks from ongoing Bush budget negotiations.  The governors have been strongly united against the president's call to cut $60 billion from Medicaid over a 10-year span. They closed their annual winter meeting earlier this week without reaching agreement with the administration.  Rep. Nussle said Medicaid funding talks with governors would resume in September, giving the association time to craft their position. The lawmaker saw the agreement to postpone debate as a partial victory.  "We're forcing a process and setting a schedule," Nussle said. "If we had not put the reconciliation process out there, the governors would have said, 'Wait until next year,' and next year never would have come."