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States lax on medicaid care

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WASHINGTON, Jul 07, 2003 (United Press International via COMTEX) -- Medicaid patients in 11 states have not been receiving all the services the U.S. government pays for, according to a new survey.

The General Accounting Office reports while the Bush administration has allowed states wide latitude in applying the Medicaid program, it has not held them accountable for providing the services.

The report examined 15 of the largest state waivers, covering services to 266,700 elderly and found problems with the quality of care in 11 of the programs. According to Monday's New York Times, Medicaid beneficiaries simply did not receive the home-based and community care services promised.

The federal government contributed 57 percent of the $258 billion spent on Medicaid last year.

"These waivers should be put on hold until the department gets a handle on the quality of care going to older and disabled Americans," said Sen. Charles E. Grassley, R-Iowa, who requested the study. "Right now there's no accountability, and that's wrong."

Copyright 2003 by United Press International.

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