Medicaid funding appeared likely to take a multibillion-dollar cut in the Senate's fiscal 2005 budget proposal. At deadline, the size of the hit could not be confirmed, as the Senate Budget Committee continued to mark up the proposal. One industry newsletter said federal Medicaid funding would be reduced by $9.6 billion in fiscal 2005, while another source said the cut could be as high as $11 billion. The budget resolution, introduced Wednesday by Sen. Don Nickles (R-Okla.), prompted the National Governors Association to warn the Senate committee that "Medicaid funding cuts could add millions more to the ranks of the uninsured." Many states already face Medicaid shortfalls and are struggling to contain costs. In a letter to the committee, the governors association said, "Federal funding reductions would force states to implement even deeper cuts by restricting eligibility, eliminating or reducing critical health benefits, and cutting or freezing provider reimbursement rates." The House budget proposal, expected to be voted on next week, also could take a big bite out of Medicaid. -- by Tony Fong
Federal Medicaid cuts seem likely in fiscal '05
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