April 23,2008

Baucus, Rockefeller Applaud House Vote to Block Medicaid Regulations

Regulations issued by HHS would prevent millions of low-income Americans from accessing care

Washington, DC – Senate Finance Committee Chairman Max Baucus (D-Mont.) and Health Care
Subcommittee Chairman Jay Rockefeller (D-W. Va.) today applauded House action to stop seven
Medicaid regulations issued by the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS). According to the Congressional Budget Office, these regulations would cut $20 billion from Medicaid, the federal program that helps low-income Americans get the health care they need. Legislation voted on in the House today would prevent these policies from taking effect before April 2009.

“It’s important that House members of both parties came together to block cuts to health
care services for the most vulnerable Americans,”
Baucus said. “Today’s strong House vote
echoes the Senate’s action in March, when we adopted my amendment opposing these
harmful cuts and unfair cost-shifting to states. I intend to work with my colleagues here in
the Senate on strategies to stop harmful Medicaid regulations as well.”

“I applaud today’s overwhelming passage of the House companion to the Economic Recovery in Health Care Act,” Rockefeller said. “Today’s vote sends a clear bipartisan message to the President that his misguided attacks on health care for the poor will not be tolerated during his remaining time in office. The Senate needs to act quickly, not only on the House-passed bill, but also to address the August 17 CHIP directive.”

The bill passed by the House today would delay implementation of regulations that limit services
for Medicaid beneficiaries including rehabilitation services for people with both chronic and
temporary disabilities, targeted case management services that coordinate support services for atrisk children and adults, school-based services that help parents with Medicaid enrollment and
provide limited transportation services to children with disabilities, and hospital outpatient
services that provide vital care in clinics and other facilities outside of hospitals. The House also
voted to stop a rule to lower state taxes on providers, which are used to pay for Medicaid
expenses; to block a rule that would limit Medicaid funding for graduate medical education; and
to prevent implementation of limits on Medicaid payments to essential safety net institutions, like public hospitals and nursing homes, which provide critical care to beneficiaries.

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