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U.S. budget deal includes Medicaid cuts

April 29, 2005 at 5:58 AM

WASHINGTON, April 29 (UPI) -- The $2.6 trillion budget U.S. lawmakers have agreed to includes $10 billion in Medicaid cuts over four years.

Democrats in the House, however, said Republicans used martial law tactics to force a vote Thursday night after members had only a short time to consider the package.

The cuts in Medicaid came even as the Senate initially had decided not to include reductions to the $300 billion a year program that provides health services to the indigent and disabled.

The bill does create a commission that will study the future of the Medicaid program although Ron Pollack, head of the advocacy group Families USA, said in a statement that "it also appears a very partisan Medicaid commission may be appointed by the Bush administration."

House Speaker Rep. Dennis Hastert, R-Ill., said in a statement after the budget vote, "It ensures a safe and secure future for America's families by reforming and improving important programs like Medicaid, fully supporting our military at home and overseas, and protecting our homeland."

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