Senate Dems claim enough votes to block Medicaid overhaul

Forty-one Senate Democrats have signed on to several letters vowing to oppose House Republicans' proposed Medicaid overhaul, ensuring the proposal won't get enough votes to clear a filibuster hurdle.

One letter, to President Obama, spearheaded by longtime Medicaid defender Sen. Jay Rockefeller (D-W.Va.), garnered 37 signatures. It makes clear that the senators will oppose proposals to cap federal spending on Medicaid, a program whose spending currently fluctuates with need.

Four other senators — Dianne Feinstein (Calif.), Mark Udall (Col.), Michael Bennet (Col.), and Amy Klobuchar (Minn.) — wrote separate letters to the president.

"Just as past efforts to undermine Medicaid coverage and health security to millions of Americans have been defeated," the Rockefeller letter reads, "we look forward to working with you to oppose such efforts in the near future."

House Republicans have adopted a budget proposal that would slash federal Medicaid spending by more than $700 billion over 10 years by turning it into a block grant to states. The letter's signers oppose that policy, as well as separate proposals to cap federal spending on the program.