House Republicans request to know how states will pay for health reform law

Energy and Commerce Republicans Joe Barton (Texas), John Shimkus (Ill.) and Michael Burgess (Texas) wrote to the 50 state governors and D.C. Mayor Adrian Fenty on Tuesday requesting data on how they'll go about implementing the healthcare reform law.

Their letter gives the local leaders two weeks to answer nine questions concerning such as issues as the costs of the Medicaid expansion, the effect of cuts to safety net hospitals payments and how the states will pay for it all.

"Much of the responsibility for – and the cost of – implementing these new provisions will fall to the states," the lawmakers write. "Given the important role states play in implementing the legislation and the difficult budgetary situation in many states, Congress must understand the impact of the legislation on each state’s budget and what steps each state will take in order to finance these additional outlays. However, we know the best experts on this issue are the states themselves, and thus, we are requesting the assistance of all 50 states and the District of Columbia in order to better understand how this legislation will affect state budgets over the next several years."