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Senate invokes procedure for fast-track of Medicaid vote


WASHINGTON Last night, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., called upon a procedure to fast-track legislation that would block Medicaid rules, according to the Wall Street Journal.

By doing this, Reid has bypassed the Senate Finance Committee and has brought the measure to the Senate floor. Reid’s action is called “Rule 14”, and takes two days to complete, thus putting off the measure until next week.

The House passed the bill Wednesday with votes from two-thirds of Republicans and all Democrats—more than enough to override a presidential veto, which the Bush administration has threatened. The administration says the rules would strengthen the Medicaid program and save it almost $13 billion over the next five years.

The seven regulations that would be blocked include ending federal payments for rehabilitative services provided through non-medical programs such as foster care, cutting funds for graduate medical education in hospitals and limiting coverage for care-management services.

The House bill would delay implementation of the rules until April 1, 2009.

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