Bush Approves Bill That Funds Wars, Delays Six Medicaid Rules
President Bush on Monday signed into law a supplemental war appropriations bill (HR 2642) with a provision that will delay for one year six new Medicaid regulations proposed by his administration, CongressDaily reports (Sanchez, CongressDaily, 6/30).
The six regulations could take effect as early as April 2009 without future congressional action.
CMS spokesperson Jeff Nelligan said that the regulations "were about accountability and the honest delivery of health care services to our beneficiaries," adding that they "would have saved an estimated $17 billion over five years out of total five-year federal Medicaid spending of $1.2 trillion."
Nelligan said, "This amounts to about one-and-a-half percent of total spending, hardly the catastrophic cut about which some observers complained."
Amy Weitz, a spokesperson for the California Association of Public Hospitals and Health Systems, said, "We're very relieved" about the delay of the regulations, adding, "Had these cuts gone through, our hospitals would have been faced with making some very difficult choices in how to maintain services to the patients they serve."
CAPHHS estimates that University of California hospitals would have lost up to $116 million annually under the rules (Bohan, Bay Area News/Contra Costa Times, 6/30).