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• In an about-face from previous debates on Medicare spending, key congressional Republicans are asking to pump billions of dollars into Medicare, while the Clinton administration says the money may not be needed. The Republicans may be responding to vehement protests from close business officials that run for-profit nursing home chains, hospitals, and health maintenance organizations, reported the Wall Street Journal. Rep. William Thomas (R-CA) has said he wants Medicare spending increased by $10 billion or so over the next several years. And Rep. John Kasich (R-OH) believes that home healthcare spending should be increased. But administration officials have said they don’t see any evidence that patients are at risk. Health and Human Services (Washington) Secretary Donna Shalala reminded Congress that changes to Medicare "would require offsetting cuts elsewhere or new revenues," the Journal reported.