House nixes Medicaid cuts

The U.S. House of Representatives overwhelmingly rejected proposed Bush administration cuts to Medicaid.

The House legislation passed Wednesday puts a one-year moratorium on such cuts.

The United Jewish Communities, the federation umbrella group, had led lobbying against the cuts to the federal program, which insures the poor.

UJC said the reductions “would restrict coverage for the most vulnerable by reducing or prohibiting Medicaid reimbursements for providers such as hospitals, nursing homes, and outpatient services” and “would also limit outpatient hospital services, rehabilitation services, school-based services, and case management.”

President Bush, who says the cuts target wasteful spending, had said he would veto the bill, but it passed by a veto-proof 349-62 margin, with most of the Republican caucus joining Democrats in the vote.

In lauding its passage, UJC urged the Senate to pass similar legislation. “I encourage the Senate to follow suit before these new regulations are implemented,” William Daroff, UJC’s Washington director, said in a statement.

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