Bush supports House restrictions on asset transfers

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The Bush administration has voiced its approval of Medicaid measures in the House's budget reconciliation bill that would sharpen rules regarding asset transfers for nursing home care. Such support increases the likelihood these provisions will remain in the final budget.

The Senate and House are both on Thanksgiving break and will attend to a reconciliation bill upon their return.

The measures that were part of the House's budget bill passed late last week would close certain loopholes that allow seniors to hide assets to qualify for Medicaid. They also would seek to lengthen the look-back period to five years or 60 months. And they would disqualify individuals with home equity of $750,000 or greater from receiving Medicaid.

As the House and Senate bills head toward conference committee negotiations, the administration will help mold the legislation, according to Centers for Medicaid & Medicare Services Administrator Mark McClellan.