Senator Says He'll Try To Head Off Federal Cuts To TennCare

Nashville (AP) -- Tennessee Senator Bob Corker says he'll work with Governor Bredesen, trying to head off Medicaid cuts that would deeply affect TennCare.

State officials say the reductions proposed by the Bush Administration could take $700 million out of TennCare.

The governor's office and the Tennessee Hospital Association say a rules change would restrict states' ability to use charity spending by public hospitals to get matching Medicaid dollars.

The change doesn't require congressional approval, but a bipartisan group of lawmakers is lobbying colleagues on committees with jurisdiction over Medicaid, demanding the rule be blocked.

According to a published report in the Chattanooga Times Free Press Friday, neither Corker's nor Senator Lamar Alexander's signatures appear on a copy of the letter posted on the web site of the National Association of Public Hospitals and Health Systems.

Corker says he hadn't seen the letter. An Alexander spokesman says the senior senator is sending his own letter that focuses on Tennessee's dilemma.

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