CATEGORY: EDT Editorials

AUTHOR: JOER

The National Governors' Association President Clinton's former political stomping ground Tuesday morning unanimously endorsed a version of Medicaid funding reform that could lead to a settlement of that federal budget issue.

The governors Republicans and Democrats apparently positioned themselves on financial ground between the Republican-controlled Congress and the White House. The plan's broad provisions would guarantee coverage for needy children and pregnant women, the elderly and the disabled. States would be able to request emergency funds.

The governors' proposal received encouraging comments from congressional Republican leaders and the White House, favorable signs that a three-way push might actually enact fair Medicaid reform.

Medicaid matching money consumes about 20 percent of states' budgets nationwide and costs the federal treasury about $100 billion. It guarantees a level of medical care for poor and disabled people and nursing home care for the indigent.

About 20 percent of Mississippi's people are eligible for some form of Medicaid, including a significant percentage of all the nursing home care in the state.

We hope the details of the plan optimism will sustain the optimism expressed Tuesday and move the issue to resolution.

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