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June 25, 2010

A new compromise proposal to extend, then phase down, higher federal Medicaid matching funds needs your Senators' support.

Contact your Senators today and ask them to support the new compromise to extend higher federal Medicaid matching funds for states.  Medicaid is a major funder of mental health treatment for people with severe mental illness.  Support of this bill will bring millions of dollars in federal funding to help preserve needed Medicaid services in states hit hard by ongoing revenue shortfalls.

All Senate offices can be reached toll-free by calling 877-210-5351 or 877-442-6801 or through the Capitol Switchboard at 202-224-3121. 

We are very grateful for your efforts in the past week to advocate for passage of this crucial legislation.   Thanks to you, we are getting closer to passage.   


After twice failing to muster the 60 votes needed to pass a bill that included a six month extension of enhanced federal assistance for Medicaid, the Senate is now considering a scaled-back version of the legislation, H.R. 4213. 

New amendments were introduced on June 23rd that continue the increased Federal Medical Assistance Percentage (FMAP) match rate.  In this new proposal, enhanced FMAP rates will continue at a minimum 6.2 percentage point increase through 2010, decrease to a 3.2 percentage point increase from January through March, 2011 and phase down to 1.2 percentage point enhancement from April through June.  

A vote last night to achieve the 60 votes needed for passage failed narrowly by a count of 57-43.  It is expected that the bill will be brought forward again for a vote as early as Tuesday of next week.  

Without this bill, current enhanced FMAP rates will expire on December 31, 2010, costing states millions of dollars in federal assistance for Medicaid and putting vital mental health treatment at risk. 

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