Congressional democrats have castigated the Bush administration's proposal
to give states more autonomy when spending Medicaid dollars.
Under the plan, states would be permitted to change Medicaid regulations,
simplify and alter eligibility requirements, and tailor or cut benefits. States
would no longer have to apply for federal waivers to deviate from federal
standards for Medicaid eligibility and benefits.
The proposal also would give states a fixed amount of money, rather
than matching funds, for the beneficiaries that they choose to cover. Secretary
of Health and Human Services Tommy Thompson defended the plan, saying that
it gives states "flexibility."
Vastag B. Proposal for State Medicaid Autonomy Under Fire. JAMA. 2003;289(9):1093. doi:10.1001/jama.289.9.1093-a