Governors oppose Medicaid changes

Feb. 23, 2008 at 10:20 PM

WASHINGTON, Feb. 23 (UPI) -- Governors asked the U.S. Congress to block new Medicaid regulations as the National Governors Association winter meeting began Saturday.

Both Republicans and Democrats oppose the changes made by the Bush administration, The New York Times reported. The governors say the new rules, which take effect during the next few months, threaten services for the poor.

The changes would come at a time when most states are hard-pressed because the economic slump has hurt tax revenues.

"Governors strongly oppose the changes," said Vermont Gov. Jim Douglas, a Republican who chairs the NGA Health and Human Services Committee. "The timing could not be worse."

Under the new rules, Medicaid funds could not be used for medical training, although governors say interns and residents provide much of the available care for the poor. The administration also wants to limit Medicaid funds going to hospitals and nursing homes operated by government agencies at all levels and spending for rehabilitation.

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