Los Angeles Schools Lead Opposition to Proposed Medicaid Cuts
Los Angeles Unified School District administrators were in Washington, D.C., this week lobbying against a plan by the administration of President Bush to cut some Medicaid payments to schools, the AP/Los Angeles Daily News reports.
The payments are intended to reimburse schools for transporting disabled students who cannot use standard school buses and for the cost of administrative services related to enrolling students in Medicaid.
On Dec. 21, 2007, HHS Secretary Mike Leavitt issued a decision stating that the schools' activities are "not necessary for the proper and efficient administration of the Medicaid state plan."
For two years, the administration has tried to eliminate such payments, amounting to more than $635 million nationwide, but Congress has barred CMS from implementing the rule change until June.
LAUSD receives between $8 million and $20 million in Medicaid payments, making it one of the school districts hardest hit by the proposed policy change.
LAUSD Superintendent David Brewer III said the district's 34 health clinics would be the first program affected by the funding cut (Friedman, AP/Los Angeles Daily News, 1/23).