Federal Judge Prevents Sneaky Attempt To Implement Medicaid Rule

Armen Hareyan's picture

Judge JamesRobertson of the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia on Friday"slapped down a sneaky attempt by the Bushadministration to impose an onerous Medicaid regulation despite the clearintent of Congress that it be deferred," according to a New York Times editorial.

Accordingto the editorial, the effort by the Bush administration to implement the"rushed-through rule" sought to "evade the annoying fact thatCongress had enacted a one-year moratorium on the administration's efforts toalter -- and in the process cut -- Medicaid reimbursements to public hospitalsand nursing homes." However, the "shifty maneuver was too much forJudge Robertson to swallow," and he "found ample reason tooverturn" the rule as a "violation of congressional intent," theeditorial states.

The editorial adds that "another battle is brewing over whether to deferseven proposed Medicaid rules that would clarify and cut reimbursements tovarious health care providers" and could have a "devastating effecton some health care institutions and state budgets." The proposals"deserve vigorous debate, preferably after a new Congress and administrationtake office," the editorial states, adding, "Fortunately, both housesof Congress have passed bills ... that would impose a one-year moratorium onthe rules and pay for the delay with offsetting cuts in less-urgent healthprograms. " President Bush has threatened to veto the bills, and"Congress will need to reconcile the Senate and House versions of the billand make it as difficult to veto as possible," according to the editorial(New York Times, 5/28).

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.