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Govs express differences on Medicaid waivers

In expressing their support for states securing waivers from Washington to deal with the Medicaid crisis on their own terms, the Democratic chairman and Republican vice chairman of the National Governors Association voiced differing opinions on just how enthusiastic the Obama administration was for issuing such waivers.

Both Democratic Gov. Jack Markell of Delaware and Republican Gov. Mary Fallin of Oklahoma spoke with reporters Saturday morning at the opening session of the NGA here in Washington.

In speaking of the ‚??continuous dialogue‚?Ě that governors have with Secretary of Health and Human Services Kathleen Sebelius on Medicaid, Gov. and NGA Chairman Markell told us that every time he has met with President Obama on this issue, ‚??he brings up the subject of waivers‚?Ě and how the administration can give states the flexibility to apply lots of different ideas‚?Ě to the Medicaid crisis.

Human Events then asked Gov. and NGA Vice Chairman Fallin if there was agreement among the governors that the president and Secretary Sebelius are supportive of giving waivers to the states to deal with Medicaid.

‚??Some,‚?Ě she replied, adding that Oklahoma did have a waiver and she intended to ask President Obama and Secretary Sebelius to expand it. But, she added, ‚??they may discontinue the waiver.‚?Ě

The Sooner State governor and NGA vice-chairman went on to say that ‚??the main message‚?Ě of the governors to the president will be that ‚??the states are great laboratories for innovation,” that state governments know what is ‚??the best fit for our people,‚?Ě and ‚??each state is different.‚?Ě

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John Gizzi has come to be known as ‚??the man who knows everyone in Washington‚?Ě and, indeed, many of those who hold elected positions and in party leadership roles throughout the United States. With his daily access to the White House as a correspondent, Mr. Gizzi offers readers the inside scoop on what‚??s going on in the nation‚??s capital. He is the author of a number of popular Human Events features, such as ‚??Gizzi on Politics‚?Ě and spotlights of key political races around the country. Gizzi also is the host of ‚??Gizzi‚??s America,‚?Ě video interviews that appear on Gizzi got his start at Human Events in 1979 after graduating from Fairfield University in Connecticut and then working for the Travis County (Tex.) Tax Assessor. He has appeared on hundreds of radio and TV shows, including Fox News Channel, C-SPAN, America's Voice,The Jim Bohannon Show, Fox 5, WUSA 9, America's Radio News Network and is also a frequent contributor to the BBC -- and has appeared on France24 TV and German Radio. He is a past president of the Georgetown Kiwanis Club, past member of the St. Matthew's Cathedral's Parish Council, and secretary of the West End Friends of the Library. He is a recipient of the William A. Rusher Award for Journalistic Excellence and was named Journalist of the Year by the Conservative Political Action Conference in 2002. John Gizzi is also a credentialed correspondent at the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund. He has questioned two IMF managing directors, Dominique Strauss-Kahn and Christine LaGarde, and has become friends with international correspondents worldwide. John‚??s email is JGizzi@EaglePub.Com