By Jason Millman - 01/07/11 10:40 PM EST
Republican governors and governors-elect from 33 states are calling on the Obama administration and congressional leaders to relax Medicaid enrollment requirements included in the healthcare reform law.
The governors said in a Friday letter that the law prevents the states from managing Medicaid programs for their "unique Medicaid populations."
The “maintenance of effort” provision prevents states from making changes to Medicaid or Children’s Health Insurance Program eligibility that result in lost coverage for someone eligible on March 23, 2010. States breaking the provision may lose all of their federal funding for Medicaid at a time when states are struggling to balance massive budget deficits.
“Every Governor, Republican and Democrat, will face unprecedented budget challenges in the coming months,” the governors wrote. “Efforts by the United States Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) to regulate state operations impose greater uncertainty on our budgets for oncoming years and create a perfect storm when coupled with the current state of the economy.”