WASHINGTON -- Congress unexpectedly gave final approval this week to legislation that would codify an agreement between the National Governors' Association and the Bush administration to ease Medicaid financing rules and delay their effective date for nine months, to Oct. 1, 1992.

States had urged Congress to delay the rules, but by its action Congress also approved various changes to the rules that other state and local groups and hospital associations had been wary of endorsing because they had not had enough time to study them carefully.

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