By Jonathan E. Kaplan - 05/30/07 06:42 PM EDT
Rep. Rahm Emanuel (D-Ill.) and Sen. Majority Whip Dick Durbin (D-Ill.) inserted a provision in the Iraq supplemental spending bill passed last week to stop the Bush administration from cutting Medicaid payments to hospitals for one year.
Emanuel, chairman of the Democratic Caucus, and Durbin overturned a proposed rule that would have limited Medicaid payments to government healthcare providers. They were most concerned about Cook County Stroger Hospital, a facility made famous by the NBC-TV program, “ER.”
While Democrats conceded their goals of including a timeline and benchmarks in the supplemental spending bill, they forced the Bush administration to accept healthcare policy changes it did not want. The bill also extends a program for senior citizens in Wisconsin and blocked cuts to a program that pays for medical education.