Medicare Bill Near Completion; President Signs Medicaid Moratorium

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NASW had important issues at stake in the Congress this week as major bills concerning both Medicare and Medicaid moved closer to the President for signature. Medicare Bill Falters on the Senate Floor, Re-Vote ExpectedLast night 39 Senate Republicans blocked passage of the Medicare bill (H.R.6331). The Senate fell just one vote short of a necessary 60 votes to break a GOP filibuster. It’s hoped this setback will be brief, until Congress returns from a week-long recess on July 7. The Senate’s failure stood in stark contrast to an overwhelming House vote (355-59) in favor of the same bill just two-days earlier. NASW is working with congressional leaders and coalition partners to get a successful re-vote in the Senate. We are now asking you to increase your efforts to contact your Senators, in anticipation of a new vote when the Senate returns in early July. HR. 6331 contains crucial provisions for social workers and for Medicare beneficiaries. To find out more, click here.

Action on Medicare Requested:

We are focused on changing the votes of 39 GOP Senators who voted wrong on this vital Medicare bill. Our message is targeted to your Senator based on their vote. Please type in your zip code and our site will customize a letter to your Senator based on their last vote on HR. 6331. Please email your Senator now. Senator Reid voted “no” as a parliamentary maneuver although he does support the bill.

Medicaid Moratorium Heads Toward President

NASW members scored a huge victory in Medicaid yesterday when the Senate approved a one-year freeze on the implementation of six regulations that would have make steep cuts to the Medicaid program. Those provisions were part of the domestic spending provisions in a large supplemental appropriations bill funding the Iraq war, veterans’ benefits, and a range of domestic needs. Among the Medicaid provisions that will be protected now are targeted case management services and rehabilitative services. For background on how these rules would have harmed social work services, click here. The bill, signed by the President today, will halt six sets of regulations that the Bush Administration would have used to make deep cuts in certain Medicaid services. The bill will place those faulty regulations on hold until April 1, 2009, when a new Administration will have had time to revise them. Thank you to all NASW members who participated in winning this hard-fought victory!

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