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Senators Press to Protect Medicaid in Economic Stimulus Package

January 31, 2008

As is being widely reported in the press, on January 29, the House passed a $150 billion economic stimulus package (HR 5140) by vote of 385-35.  The House package is centered on tax rebates designed to spur consumer spending. A bipartisan coalition of Senators is pushing to make sure that the package includes extra funding and protections to ensure that states can avoid cutting the Medicaid program in response to expected revenue shortfalls at the state level this year. 

The Senate began work on its version on January 30, when the Senate Finance Committee considered a separate package.  A bipartisan group of Senators is pressing for a range of changes designed to help states avoid cuts to Medicaid as part of any state level response to the current economic climate – which in many states is expected to result in revenue shortfalls and budget cuts this year.

Action Required

Advocates are encouraged to call their Senators to urge them to support the following as part of any economic stimulus package:

  • A temporary increase in the federal Medicaid match rate for states – known as FMAP.  This effort is being led by Senators Jay Rockefeller (D-WV) and Susan Collins (R-ME).  Click here to view a copy of the letter they have sent to their colleagues, and 
  • Extension of the current moratorium on regulations on rehabilitation and school-based services under Medicaid and place a new restriction on regulations issued by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) on targeted case management services (TCM) issued late last year.  Senator Debbie Stabenow (D-MI) is expected to offer an amendment to the economic stimulus bill to extend these moratoria on Medicaid regulations through April 1, 2009.

All Senate offices can be reached by calling 202-224-3121.

Click here to view additional information on why Medicaid FMAP should be a part of any economic stimulus package.