Lawmakers unite against Bush's bed-tax cut plan

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Opposition to the White House's plan to cut Medicaid payments to nursing homes and hospitals appears to be growing.

Both Republican and Democratic governors have railed against President Bush's proposal to reduce the provider tax in half – to 3% from 6%. Facilities actually benefit from the provider tax because states use the revenue to obtain matching funds from the federal government. Bush's plan also would reduce Medicaid payments to healthcare facilities by redefining allowable costs.

More than 330 members of Congress, including 103 Republicans, have objected to the proposal. A bipartisan group of 50 senators recently urged Bush to eliminate the proposed rules, which were set forth in his 2007 budget. Bush argues the reductions are necessary to help preserve Medicaid and cut exorbitant payments to providers.