Congress to defer $10B in Medicaid cuts

Citing the public health catastrophe caused by Hurricane Katrina, Congress said it will not pursue $10 billion in cuts to state Medicaid programs. That decision may be temporary, but the decision is likely to postpone any significant changes to the program until 2006 at the earliest, according to some insiders. The legislative effort to reform Medicaid had been a core element of plans to cut back on healthcare spending in Washington. Industry observers say any attempt to move forward with the cuts at a time when hundreds of low-income recipients have been left with little access to care and services is a political impossibility.

- see this story from The Washington Post
- see this related story from the Associated Press

PLUS: In response to reports of health insurers canceling policies, Louisiana's insurance commissioner proposed new rules. Story