Senate Passes Medicaid Budget Bill

by Tony McVeigh on March 24, 2011

The Kentucky Senate has approved its plan for balancing the state’s Medicaid budget.

The Senate vote was 22-15, along party lines, with Republicans voting Aye and Democrats voting Nay. On Monday, the House voted 94-4 for a different version of the bill, but there are some similarities. So now, House and Senate negotiators will try to reach a compromise. House Speaker Greg Stumbo says cuts to education in the Senate plan are a deal breaker.

“It’s unacceptable. We met with Representative Hoover and the Republican leadership and we all went through the bill and everyone agrees. It’s just the same old rhetoric,” he says.

But Senate President David Williams says, wait, let’s talk.

“I think that both sides continue to move, and we feel like we came a long way,” he says.

Looming over the heads of negotiators is the date April 1st. That’s when Gov. Steve Beshear says he will have to cut Medicaid provider reimbursement rates by 35 percent if lawmakers fail to reach an agreement.

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