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With Yarmuth's Support, House Pass Medicaid Legislation to Save Kentucky More than a Billion Dollars

 

Protecting the Medicaid Safety Net Act halts harmful Medicaid regulations


(Washington, DC) Today, with bipartisan support, the House of Representatives voted to approve the Protecting the Medicaid Safety Net Act, a bill cosponsored by Congressman John Yarmuth.  The legislation will stop new Medicaid regulations that would deny services to millions of Americans and cost Kentucky more than a billion dollars over five years, according to Kentucky Medicaid officials.

“While it’s true that the federal government needs to make difficult choices to get our record deficit under control, withholding services from our most vulnerable citizens and passing the cost on to the states is not the answer,” Congressman Yarmuth said.  “This bill will ensure that Kentucky is not further burdened with debt and that more of our citizens get the care they need.”

“I am very pleased that Congressman Yarmuth has pushed this legislation through the House of Representatives,” said Kentucky Governor Steve Beshear. “It is difficult to balance the needs of Kentuckians who depend on Medicaid with the limited available resources we have at the state level. This legislation will certainly make that task easier.”

The legislation places a moratorium on seven Medicaid regulations through March of 2009. According to the Congressional Budget Office, together these regulations would cut federal Medicaid funding to States for vital programs and services by nearly $20 billion over the next five years.

H.R. 5613 would protect States, beneficiaries, and providers from the Medicaid cuts caused by the following rules:

•    Restrictions on payment for Medicaid coverage of rehabilitation services
o    Kentucky’s loss of federal funds in 2008: $3 million
o    Kentucky’s loss Over 5 years: $15 million
•    Elimination of payment for specialized medical transportation for children with disabilities in schools and school-based outreach and enrollment
o    Kentucky’s loss of federal funds in 2008: $13 million
o    Kentucky’s loss Over 5 years: $65 million
•    Restrictions on payment for targeted case management services that help people with disabilities remain in or rejoin living in their community
o    Kentucky’s loss of federal funds in 2008: $37 million
o    Kentucky’s loss Over 5 years: $200 million
•    Redefinition of allowable provider taxes used to raise State funding for Medicaid
o    Kentucky’s loss of federal funds in 2008: $126 million
o    Kentucky’s loss Over 5 years: $630 million
•    Restrictions on payment for Medicaid hospital outpatient department benefits
o    Kentucky’s loss of federal funds in 2008: $21 million
o    Kentucky’s loss Over 5 years: $118 million
•    Restrictions on payments to safety net institutions (intergovernmental transfers)
•    Elimination of payment for graduate medical education in Medicaid.
o    Kentucky’s loss of federal funds in 2008: $24 million
o    Kentucky’s loss Over 5 years: $127 million