Trying to overcome objections from the Clinton administration, the nation's governors announced a series of changes to their Medicaid reform plan.
The alterations include adding a minimum benefits package and tinkering with how federal funds are distributed to states, Wisconsin Gov. Tommy Thompson said last week.
However, some signs of strain were beginning to show in the bipartisan governors coalition.
After the GOP governors announced the changes, Democratic governors, including Roy Romer of Colorado and Bob Miller of Nevada, said the agreement was still far from complete.
"They're getting a little ahead of themselves," Miller said. "We still have serious substantive concerns as well as procedural concerns."
The governors did not change several provisions of concern to providers and some Democratic governors. The proposal would eliminate many of the rules governing the use of provider taxes, which have been used to attract federal matching funds.
It also would reduce the amount states must contribute to the program.
Providers are objecting to a provision that reduces the rights of individuals and providers to sue states in federal court over benefits and reimbursement rates.
At a recent hearing before the Senate Finance Committee, Romer told the senators he would not oppose keeping the current federal-state matching fund rates.
House Speaker Newt Gingrich (R-Ga.) said the Medicaid reform plan would be introduced in legislation March 25.
Under the plan governors agreed to in February, states would have been required to continue to offer their current package of benefits but could reduce the duration and level of the benefits provided. But the Clinton administration objected, arguing it gave states too much control.
Last week, the governors agreed to put a floor on the duration and level of benefits. The floor would be based on the least-generous state's level for each benefit.