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Posted at 5:29 PM ET, 01/ 7/2011

McDonnell, other GOP governors seek federal health-care law reprieve

By Anita Kumar
Anita Kumar

Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell, vice chairman of the Republican Governors Association, and 32 other Republican governors and governors-elects sent a letter to President Obama and congressional leaders Friday asking them to lift "excessive constraints" on state governments caused by the federal health care-related law.

"The one-size-fits-all approach to health-care adopted last year does not work in the states and imposes unnecessary financial burdens on already strapped state budgets," said Gov. Rick Perry, RGA chairman. "Now is the time for the federal government to restore states' flexibility to craft Medicaid programs tailored to their specific needs."

The governors expressed specific concern about the "maintenance of effort" provisions in both the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act and the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act.

The maintenance of effort requirements freeze state governments' ability to adapt the state-administered Medicaid programs to changing populations or economic conditions, according to the governors. They say states will be unable to reform enrollment policies, adjust Medicaid eligibility levels or take other cost-saving actions.

The letter comes days before the Republican-controlled U.S. House will vote on a repeal of the health care overhaul. The House is expected to vote for repeal, but the Democratic-majority Senate is much less likely to overturn the law.

By Anita Kumar  | January 7, 2011; 5:29 PM ET
Categories:  Anita Kumar, Robert F. McDonnell  
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Next: McDonnell campaigns for candidates in Tuesday's special elections

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