Rendell Declares Tremendous Victory' As Own Plan is Defeated
In a classic effigy of Jekyll and Hyde, Governor Ed Rendell claimed victory against himself this week by announcing he had negotiated a partial restoration of the cuts to the Medicaid budget he proposed in February.
"Only Gov. Ed Rendell could claim victory against himself," said Republican State Committee Chairman Eileen Melvin.
Led by the voices of the state's hospital and nursing home communities, Gov. Rendell's Medicaid proposal drew a chorus of criticism from medical caregivers and providers. If the governor's plan would have become law, limits would have been imposed on the number of times eligible women and children could access hospitals for their medical care and the number of monthly prescriptions available to enrolled recipients, most notably scores of Pennsylvania senior citizens. The Rendell strategy would have created huge fiscal strains on the state's hospital systems through a precipitous rise in uncompensated health care costs.
Gov. Rendell's proposal to enact the $500 million in cuts to Medicaid was roundly defeated late last month as both Democrats and Republicans in the Pennsylvania House voted down the plan in unanimous fashion. After negotiations with Republican legislative leaders reached their apex over the July 4th Holiday, Governor Rendell was quick to claim credit for the restorations saying, "This is a tremendous victory" (Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, 7/5/05)
"Coming from a governor who vetoed his first state budget, I guess this move should come as no surprise," added Melvin.