Senators Consider Adding Medicaid Buy-In Measure to Tax Bill
Senate Democrats are considering the addition of a Medicaid measure (S 622) to the corporate tax bill (S 1637) that would expand coverage to more children with disabilities, the CQ Today reports. The measure, which was added last week to Democrats' "wish list" of amendments for the tax bill, would allow families with annual incomes up to 250% of the federal poverty level, or $47,125 for a family of four, to buy into Medicaid for their disabled children. While the amendment "has had bipartisan support," its "backers have not been able to bring on board conservatives concerned about the bill's $7 billion, 10-year price tag," according to CQ Today. Sen. Don Nickles (R-Okla.) has been negotiating with sponsor Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) for months for alterations to the amendment (Field, CQ Today, 4/6). According to CQ Today, Senate Republicans seeking to close debate on the tax bill and limit amendments from Democrats are not likely to obtain the necessary 60 votes. Grassley said, "I would think that common sense would indicate we ought to be able to get it done. But as a practical matter, if politics wins the day, you can't do much." Senate Minority Leader Tom Daschle (D-S.D.) said, "We don't have any interest in trying to stop the bill. We just want to have a chance to offer our amendments" (Ota, CQ Today, 4/6).This is part of the California Healthline Daily Edition, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.