Last night, the Senate Finance Committee declined attempts to ensure that poor, elderly and disabled persons receive coverage from Medicare and Medicaid programs. Committee Chairman, William V. Roth Jr. (R-Del.) has proposed that the federal government grant states the right to determine eligibility and benefits. The committee voted down an amendment which would have restored entitlements to the poor. The committee also passed a change, requested by New York among other states, which would lower the amount they must contribute to Medicaid programs by ten percent.
The Senate Finance Committee moved through twelve of forty amendments and then recessed for the night. Because of technical and drafting delays, it has extended the date of their final mark-up to October 9, approximately three weeks beyond their deadl ine.