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AARP Prepares to Fight Medicaid Cuts

  • April 8th, 2005

When House and Senate budget conferees sit down to try to strike a compromise between budget bills that sharply differ in their treatment of the Medicaid program, they will have a giant looking over their shoulders: AARP.

The 35 million-member organization for seniors has indicated that it will launch a campaign against any final budget resolution that contains wholesale Medicaid reductions. AARP is already lobbying Senate budget conferees (House conferees have yet to be named). The conferees will be striving to merge two dramatically different approaches to Medicaid. The Senate proposal includes no Medicaid reductions and instead sets up a study commission, while the House version includes up to $20 billion in cuts. (See "Senate Rejects Bush's Proposed Medicaid Cuts," March 17, 2005.)

According to The Hill, AARP "is making it clear to members that it will push hard against Medicaid cuts" included in the House budget resolution.

However, AARP would not necessarily oppose programmatic changes, according to the The Hill. Rather than make cuts based on a target figure, Congress should ask, "What's a reasonable change in the program that's going to save money?" says Ridge Multop, AARP's senior legislative representative.

A number of Republican senators reiterated their position that a Medicaid commission must be convened before they could accept any reductions in Medicaid. However, CongressDaily reports that Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist (R-Tenn.) has apparently persuaded the Republican senators "not to publicly commit to rejecting a budget resolution that includes cuts in Medicaid."

To read the article in The Hill, click here.

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Last Modified: 04/08/2005

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