House overwhelmingly approves Medicaid moratorium bill

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Rep. John Dingell (D-MI)
Rep. John Dingell (D-MI)

The House Wednesday approved by a veto-proof margin a bill that would delay the implementation of seven onerous Medicaid regulations until April 1, 2009.

Lawmakers approved by a vote of 349-62 Protecting the Medicaid Safety Net Act of 2008 (H.R. 5613). The legislation would place a moratorium on pending regulations that, among other consequences, restrict the use of the allowable provider tax and curtail Medicaid funding to government-funded skilled nursing facilities and other healthcare facilities. One rule that limits provider taxes was scheduled to go into effect on Tuesday. The Bush administration on Tuesday has threatened to veto the legislation, which now moves to the Senate.

Meanwhile, the Congressional Budget Office issued a report estimating that the bill, on net, would reduce direct spending by $3 million over the 2008-2013 period. Reps. John Dingell (D-MI) and Tim Murphy (R-PA) sponsored the legislation.