Bill Passed To Block Medicaid Rules

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The Senate Appropriations Committee on Thursday approved a $193 billionsupplemental war appropriations bill that includes a provision to block for oneyear seven new Medicaid regulations proposed by the Bush administration, CongressDailyreports. The legislation, which has three parts -- war spending, policyconditions for the funds and domestic spending -- also includes $275 millionfor FDA. Before the passage of the bill, the committeeunanimously approved an amendment proposed by Sen. Frank Lautenberg (D-N.J.)that would block for one year an SCHIP policy directive announced last year bythe administration (Kivlan, CongressDaily, 5/15).

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) said that he hopes to move the billto the floor on Monday. The Senate plans to hold separate votes on each of thethree parts of the bill. According to CQ Today, the "Senatewill ... have to reconcile the House version with its own committee's languageand muster some Republican support to get a final version through thechamber," which "will not be easy" (Rogin/Higa, CQ Today,5/15).

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House Version

Meanwhile, the House onThursday approved two parts of the bill -- the sections on domestic spendingand policy conditions for war funds -- but rejected the part on war spending, CQToday reports (Clarke/Higa, CQ Today, 5/15). The Houseversion of the legislation, which would cost $183.7 billion, includes theprovision to block the Medicaid regulations.

President Bush on Thursday said that he would veto the bill (Sanchez/Bourge, CongressDaily,5/15). Bush threatened to veto the legislation because of the lack of warspending and the policy conditions for war funds (Taylor, AP/Baltimore Sun, 5/16).According to the Washington Post, although Bush also opposes thepart of the bill on domestic spending, those funds "will garnerconsiderable support in both parties," which makes the prospects for thatsection of the legislation more "unclear" (Weisman, WashingtonPost, 5/16).

Reprintedwith permission from kaisernetwork.org. You can view the entire Kaiser Daily Health Policy Report, search the archives, and sign upfor email delivery at kaisernetwork.org/email . The Kaiser Daily Health PolicyReport is published for kaisernetwork.org, a free service of The Henry J.Kaiser Family Foundation.

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