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Republican Leaders Propose Medicaid Provider Tax Cuts to Pay for Student Loan Bill

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U.S. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) and Speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives John Boehner (R-OH), joined by other Republican leaders, sent a letter to President Obama yesterday proposing a reduction in Medicaid provider taxes, to pay for the cost of legislation to prevent an increase in student loan interest rates. Republican leaders proposed lowering states’ allowable Medicaid provider tax assessments from 6% to 5.5% to partially offset the cost of a one-year extension of current student loan interest rate.  The Congressional Budget Office estimates such an extension would cost $6 billion.

Republican leaders also offered a second offset option—an increase in federal employee retirement contributions.

HANYS issued a statement today opposing reductions in federal Medicaid spending and any efforts in Congress to cut health care spending to fund non-health care priorities.  New York’s hospital and health systems are already subject to $22 billion in legislated and regulatory reductions over the next ten years.  HANYS is concerned that patient access to services in all communities will be compromised by the level of reductions already on the books, let alone further cuts.  Contact: Chelsi Stevens

Published June 1, 2012