The Senate passed its fiscal 2006 budget late last night, 51-49, which scrapped $14 billion over five years in Medicaid cuts. This puts it on a collision course with the House, which also passed its budget, 218-214, targeting about $20 billion in Medicaid cuts also over five years. Each chamber's budget totals about $2.6 trillion.
Providers hailed an amendment in the Senate budget that eliminated Medicaid cuts and called on Congress to adopt that budget. But President Bush ignored any mention of the Senate budget and instead applauded the House budget saying, "It closely follows my budget proposal and reflects our shared commitment to be wise with the people's money and restrain spending in Washington, D.C."
The president's budget calls for cuts of $60 billion over 10 years to Medicaid. Members of the Senate and House now must meet in conference committee to negotiate a compromise budget.