Republican House Member Asks HHS Secretary Leavitt To Revise Medicaid Study Commission
Rep. Heather Wilson (R-N.M.) last week in a letter to HHS Secretary Mike Leavitt wrote that members of Congress should have voting positions on the new Medicaid study commission, CongressDaily reports (Heil, CongressDaily, 6/3).
As part of the fiscal year 2006 budget resolution approved by Congress in April, lawmakers established a commission to recommend proposals to eliminate $10 billion from Medicaid over five years. The commission also will recommend long-term proposals to reduce Medicaid costs.
Democratic lawmakers on May 26 said that they would not participate in the commission after Leavitt announced that he would appoint the 15 voting members and that no members of Congress would have voting positions. The executive committee of the National Governors Association on Wednesday also said that governors would not participate in the commission (California Healthline, 6/2).
The commission will have 15 nonvoting members, which likely will include eight members of Congress.
Wilson wrote in the letter, "I believe the future success of implementing the recommendation[s] depends on the level to which members of Congress are invested in formulating them." Wilson added that Leavitt also should ensure the commission is independent and bipartisan.
According to CongressDaily, Leavitt has sought to find noncongressional Democrats to help ensure that the commission is bipartisan (CongressDaily, 6/3).