Provider groups urge Senate to reject Medicaid cuts

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A coalition of healthcare provider organizations urged Senators to reject all Medicaid cuts in the proposed fiscal year 2005 budget. The Senate Budget Committee passed a resolution with $9.6 billion in Medicaid spending reductions over five years and discretionary spending caps of $814 billion. The Senate is currently debating the measures.

"States are in fiscal crisis," the groups wrote in a letter. "When state Medicaid budgets are squeezed, as they currently are, state legislatures often look first to provider payment cuts and benefit and eligibility changes as a way to achieve savings."

The letter cited cuts providers already have to manage when the $10 billion in temporary state fiscal relief expires June 30. 

"We suggest that Congress consider an extension of Medicaid's federal matching assistance and avoid cuts to the program," the letter said.