The Senate passed budget plan for fiscal 2005 that would maintain some rural health funding that President Bush's budget proposal would trim and would spare Medicaid, at least temporarily, from up to $11 billion in federal funding cuts contained in an earlier version of the Senate plan. The House Budget Committee is expected to complete its fiscal 2005 budget blueprint March 17 and send it to the full House sometime next week for debate. A spokesman for the House committee said Medicaid funding is not being targeted for reductions. However, House leadership has told the House Energy and Commerce Committee to cut $2.5 billion over five years from programs under its jurisdiction, which include Medicaid. -- by Jeff Tieman
Senate budget plan protects Medicaid for now
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