Senate Budget Committee passes Medicaid cuts
The Senate Budget Committee passed a resolution for fiscal year 2005 with $9.6 billion in Medicaid spending reductions over five years. It also caps discretionary spending at $814 billion, assuming a freeze for most programs at last year's spending levels. The cuts would be in addition to the scheduled expiration of $20 billion in Medicaid funding in June.
The full Senate is expected to take up the budget resolution this week. The House Budget Committee is scheduled to mark up its budget resolution Wednesday.
"The reduction in Medicaid funding could affect the entire continuum of aging services," wrote leaders from the American Association of Homes and Services for the Aging in a letter to members protesting the proposed cuts. People aged 65 and over make up approximately one-third of the Medicaid population but account for two-thirds of the program's spending, according to AAHSA.
The resolution also instructs the Senate Finance Committee to come up with $3 billion in savings to offset several proposed tax cuts, without saying how that should be accomplished.