Governors ask HHS to reconsider Medicaid cuts

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The National Governors Association on Tuesday expressed its opposition to the Bush administration's Medicaid reform proposals, including plans to halve provider taxes.

In a letter to Michael O. Leavitt, secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services, governors asked the administration to reconsider its proposed changes to Medicaid. Besides cutting provider taxes, the White House also wants to change reimbursement policies for rehabilitation services, the letter said. Many nursing home operators are adamantly opposed to certain Medicaid proposals, especially the president's plan to reduce provider taxes from 6% to 3%.

"Not only would the proposals shift cost to the states, they would diminish longstanding, legitimate funding mechanisms that CMS has previously approved," the letter said.

The House Appropriations Committee has approved an amendment to the fiscal 2007 Labor/Health and Human Services spending bill that prevents CMS from administratively cutting provider taxes. The governors' letter can be seen at: http://www.nga.org/portal/site/nga/menuitem.cb6e7818b34088d18a278110501010a0/?vgnextoid=d7e9bed9d261c010VgnVCM1000001a01010aRCRD