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 May 16, 2005
States Propose Billions in Medicaid Cuts
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Governors and state legislators have devised a plan to limit Medicaid services, make some beneficiaries pay more for care, and save the burgeoning insurance program billions of dollars, The New York Times reported Monday.

The governors and lawmakers, in offering their blueprint to the U.S. Congress, say their plan would save about $10 billion over the next five years, the newspaper said. The Times reported the proposal has a "substantial" chance of passing, since states heavily contribute to the program. Some of the suggestions resemble those offered by President Bush in his 2006 budget, while other suggested cuts go even further, according to the newspaper.

A coalition of organizations representing beneficiaries, including AARP, pediatricians, hospitals, and nursing homes, is gearing up to fight the proposed cuts, the Times said.

State officials told the newspaper that their goal is not just to save money, but also to avoid having to drop thousands of beneficiaries from the Medicaid program, as is being done in states like Tennessee and Missouri.

Medicaid is the nation's largest insurance program and covers 50 million low-income people. Though originally intended for the poor, it now covers many people with incomes well above the poverty line, the Times said.


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