Feds May Pass Budget Woes On to States

A bipartisan group of governors is asking Congress to stop the Bush administration from making them pay a larger portion of Medicaid's costs. The governors say new rules could shift as much as $15 billion over the next five years from the federal government to the states.

States are already feeling the pinch of rising health care costs.

The federal government reported today that in 10 years, health care is expected to consume nearly one of every five dollars produced by the economy.

The Medicaid program for the poor — whose costs are shared between the federal government and the states — is nearly every state's biggest budget item.

The five state chief executives included Mississippi Republican Haley Barbour and Massachusetts Democrat Deval Patrick.

The group also called for Congress to block a Bush administration plan that would limit states' ability to enroll children from all but the poorest families in the State Children's Health Insurance Program.

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