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By The Skanner News
Published: 08 July 2011

WASHINGTON (AP) -- A leading Democratic state governor is warning debt negotiators in the nation's capital against cutting Medicaid for low-income people.

Washington state Gov. Christine Gregoire said Friday she's worried a proposal under discussion by President Barack Obama and congressional leaders of both parties amounts to code words for cuts in Medicaid benefits and enrollment. Gregoire, who also chairs the National Governors Association, said that is going to be a huge problem for states.

The proposal calls for replacing a hodge-podge of federal funding formulas with a single "blended" rate for each state. Federal Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius says it could save on administrative costs. Medicaid is a federal-state partnership covering about 60 million low-income people.

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