ST. PAUL  (AP) -- House Republicans aim to reduce projected health and welfare spending $1.6 billion by cutting services for the disabled and elderly and MinnesotaCare health care while seeking federal permission for more health care cuts.

The bill outlined Monday would cut almost $500 million from programs intended to keep elderly and disabled people out of nursing homes.

It also eliminates MinnesotaCare for 7,200 adults and counts on a federal waiver allowing the state to cut $300 million from the Medicaid health care program. Another $300 million in cuts would be directed at the least efficient medical providers.

Health and welfare programs make up the second-biggest piece of the state's budget.

Legislative Republicans are releasing budget bills in various spending areas as they attempt to erase a $5 billion deficit.

(Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press.  All Rights Reserved.)

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