HHS Rescinds Controversial Medicaid Regulations

The Health and Human Services Department Monday "rescinded three controversial Bush administration regulations governing Medicaid and said it would postpone and possibly change or rescind a fourth," according to CQ Politics.  

Democrats had been particularly critical of the regulations, which had upset health care providers, state governments and advocates for the poor, and the decision to rescind them was not unexpected. CQ Politics reports: "Critics charged that the [Bush] administration was trying to shift to the states, from the federal government, the burden for about $19.6 billion in Medicaid spending over five years. Medicaid, a health insurance entitlement program for the poor, is a shared federal-state program, and there is constant tension between the two over costs" (Wayne, 6/29).

Modern Healthcare also reports: "Specifically, the Obama administration will be rescinding all or part of three Medicaid regulations that were previously issued. The rulemakings in total would have eliminated reimbursement for school-based administrative and transportation costs; limited the outpatient hospital and clinic service benefit for Medicaid; and restricted beneficiary access to case management services. The CMS also plans to delay until June 30, 2010, parts of a regulation that clarified limitations on healthcare-related tax programs, to determine whether states need additional clarification or guidance. A moratorium for most of the regulations had been set to expire on July 1, under a provision set by the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009" (Lubell, 6/29).

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