Legislation has been introduced in the House seeking to place a one-year moratorium on seven Medicaid regulations that would mean financial cuts to the program over the next five years.
The billintroduced by Reps. John Dingell (D-Mich.), chairman of the Energy and Commerce Committee, and Tim Murphy (R-Pa.)would put a hold on the regulations to give Congress more time to assess their effects. A Senate budget resolution approved late Thursday would allow the Senate to stop the same regulations, which have been widely panned by governors who fear that the provisions would siphon federal dollars away from the program.
The Congressional Budget Office estimates that $20 billion in Medicaid funding is at stake under these regulations. The cuts would affect public safety net institutions, rehabilitation services for people with disabilities, medical transportation to school for Medicaid children, graduate medical education payments, coverage of hospital clinic services and other services. Congress last year enacted moratoriums on several of these regulations, but those expire before the summer.
Several organizations are fighting these regulations in court. This past week a coalition that includes the National Association of Public Hospitals and Health Systems and the American Hospital Association announced plans to file a federal lawsuit to stop the CMS from carrying out a rule that would bind states efforts to leverage higher Medicaid payments for safety net hospitals. -- by Jennifer Lubell