Lawmakers urge president to withdraw proposed Medicaid rule

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Pressure is mounting on the Bush administration to rescind a proposed rule that would limit Medicaid payments to government-owned nursing facilities.

The National Governors Association this week held a press briefing, opposing the rule. Also this week, about 150 members of the House signed a letter to Michael O. Leavitt, secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services, asking him to withdraw the proposed rule. Senators signed a similar letter last week.

The rule, which the Bush administration introduced on Jan. 18, could cut federal Medicaid funding by more than $5 billion over five years. It would redefine which healthcare providers are considered "government" providers. It also would seek to eliminate intergovernmental transfers, which allow states to draw down more federal funding for Medicaid programs. The proposal was subject to a 60-day public comment period.

See the proposed rule at http://a257.g.akamaitech.net/7/257/2422/01jan20071800/edocket.access.gpo.gov/2007/pdf/07-195.pdf.