Healthcare Business News

Governors plead against Medicaid cuts in debt ceiling talks

By By Gregg Blesch
Posted: July 9, 2011 - 6:30 pm ET

With the president and congressional leaders poised for Sunday talks on a debt-ceiling deal, the nation's governors sent them a letter anticipating their Medicaid funding was about to get hit as a means to cut federal spending.

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“It has been reported that the target for 10-year total Medicaid reduction is in the neighborhood of $100 billion, or roughly $10 billion a year,” wrote Washington Gov. Christine Gregoire, who is chair of the National Governors Association, and Nebraska Gov. Dave Heineman, the association's vice chair. “Make no mistake: these reductions are significant and cannot be absorbed into state budgets or simply passed on to providers of health services for our Medicaid populations.”

Republican leaders in Congress have insisted on broad spending cuts before agreeing to raise the federal debt ceiling. If the limit is not raised by Aug. 2, the government would be unable to pay its bills and, experts say, potentially wreak havoc in financial markets.

Published reports have suggested the president is seeking a deal that would save $4 trillion through spending cuts and some new revenue.  

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