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AUG 31, 2011

In a report issued Tuesday, these Republican state executives urged a loosening of federal "maintenance of effort" rules and called for flexibility so that states could custom design programs to give their children as well as poor and disabled citizens the best care.

The Associated Press/Washington Post: GOP Governors Say U.S. Fiscal Fix Should Let States Decide Medicaid Rules And Spending
The nation's Republican governors, seeking a voice in Congress' upcoming debt debate, pushed Tuesday for looser restrictions on how states spend money on health care for poor and disabled Americans. ... Medicaid should be custom-designed by each state to best provide care to children, the poor and disabled without federal rules and the waivers required to get around them, their report said (Kellman, 8/30).

The Wall Street Journal'
s Washington Wire: To Cut Medicaid Costs, GOP Governors Target Illegal Immigrants
Republican governors have a new target in their quest to cut Medicaid costs: illegal immigrants. In a report released Tuesday, the Republican Governors Association outlined 31 solutions that it says would bring down the cost. Medicaid is a top budget item for states, and governors from both parties have complained it's busting their purse as more people lose jobs and qualify for the federal-state insurance program for the poor (Adamy, 8/30).

Bloomberg: Republican Governors Calling For Overhaul Of Medicaid To Reduce Spending
Medicaid, the U.S. health program for the poor, should be overhauled to limit spending and let states design programs without federal interference, Republican governors said. In a report the Republican Governor's Association issued today, 31 state and territorial leaders made their most detailed group effort to argue for an overhaul of the federal-state health program that the Congressional Budget Office said will insure 56 million people and cost the federal government $275 billion in 2011. Medicaid is among the biggest expenses for many states struggling with lower tax revenue. "The United States literally cannot afford to have the status quo on Medicaid," said Mississippi Governor Haley Barbour, a Republican who has called for overhauling the program by ending federal oversight (Armstrong, 8/30).

The Hill: Republican Governors Announce Proposals To Overhaul Medicaid
The nation's Republican governors on Tuesday released a detailed list of policies that would give them greater control over their Medicaid programs, one of states' biggest expenditures. The 31 recommendations include longtime Republican priorities such as repealing the health care reform law's "maintenance of effort" requirement that forbids states from cutting their Medicaid rolls. The proposal doesn't go as far as the House Republican budget, however, which would have cut federal Medicaid spending by more than $700 billion over 10 years by turning the program into a federal block grant (Pecquet, 8/30).

Modern Healthcare: GOP Governors Submit Ideas For Medicaid
The country's Republican governors on Tuesday offered 31 ideas about how to fix the Medicaid program. Released by the Republican Governors Public Policy Committee, the report -- titled A New Medicaid: A Flexible, Innovative and Accountable Future -- follows a June letter to House Energy and Commerce Committee Chairman Fred Upton (R-Mich.) and Senate Finance Committee ranking member Orrin Hatch (R-Utah) from 29 Republican governors that endorsed block grants for Medicaid and outlined seven principles for building a better program. The recommendations in the report align with those seven guiding factors (Zigmond, 8/30).

CNN: RGA's Medicaid Reform Report
On the day that congressional Republicans appointed to the "super committee" meet for the first time, GOP governors are looking for more flexibility in reforming Medicaid. Mississippi Governor Haley Barbour said a Medicaid reform report produced Tuesday by the Republican Governors Association should be "helpful" for the congressional super committee. "Many of these solutions will save money but also improve the quality of care. That ought to be and I expect is exactly what Congress is and should be looking for," Barbour said (Merica, 8/30).

This article was reprinted from with permission from the Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation. Kaiser Health News, an editorially independent news service, is a program of the Kaiser Family Foundation, a nonpartisan health care policy research organization unaffiliated with Kaiser Permanente.

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