Irreconcilable Healthcare Differences

Tuesday, March 2nd, 2010
This post was written by Melanie Matthews

Faced with nearly irreconcilable differences after a seven-hour healthcare summit last Thursday, there’s renewed talk of Democrats employing a little-used parliamentary tool known as budget reconciliation to pass their version of healthcare reform. Budget reconciliation allows legislation tied to the budgeting process to be passed with a simple majority rather than a 60-vote majority needed to block filibusters.

While the debate simmers, a new analysis by the Kaiser Family Foundation indicates that state Medicaid rolls are bursting with new enrollees. The analysis, a featured story in this week’s Healthcare Business Weekly Update, found that nearly 3.3 million more people were enrolled in state Medicaid programs in June 2009 compared to the previous June. Every state experienced an increase in Medicaid enrollment, and in 32 states enrollment grew at least twice as fast as the year before. The swelled Medicaid ranks come at a time when 29 states are considering mid-year cuts to Medicaid budgets, and federal monies from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 will shortly expire.

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