WASHINGTON -- The House Energy and Commerce Committee overwhelmingly approved legislation yesterday that would delay for nine months the Jan. 1, 1992, effective date of new Medicaid financing rules that states have warned could cripple their budgets and harm their credit ratings.

The panel's 35-to-8 vote for the bill came amid indications that the Health Care Financing Administrion, which proposed the rules in September, was backing away from its opposition to a delay and may soon announce a blanket postponement of the effective date.

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