House Members Return From Recess To Vote on State Medicaid Package
On Tuesday, the House is scheduled to convene for an emergency session during which members will vote on Senate-approved legislation that includes $16.1 billion in additional federal Medicaid funding for states through June 2011, CQ Today reports (Epstein, CQ Today, 8/9).
Last week, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) announced that she would reconvene the chamber, which already had adjourned for the August recess (California Healthline, 8/5).
Senate Action on Bill
On Thursday, the Senate voted 61-39 to pass a $26.1 state financial aid package that included the Medicaid funding proposal.
Two Republicans -- Sens. Susan Collins (Maine) and Olympia Snowe (Maine) -- joined Democrats in support of the measure, which they said would help states overcome projected revenue shortfalls and prevent broad layoffs and budget cuts (Brady, Roll Call, 8/5).
Nearly 30 states had factored the federal funding into their budgets for the current or new fiscal years (Abrams, AP/Minneapolis Star Tribune, 8/10).
Prospects for Passage in House
On Monday, House leadership aides said the legislation is expected to draw enough votes for passage in the chamber.
Leaders are confident that although some members might have concerns with the budgetary offsets in the bill, they still would vote for it and address the spending cuts later (CQ Today, 8/9).
The bill includes a number of offsets, such as a closure of foreign tax credit loopholes, reducing Medicaid drug pricing and ending an increase to food-stamp funding under the 2009 stimulus package (California Healthline, 8/3). Last week, congressional analysts confirmed that the package is fully offset and would reduce future deficits by $1.37 billion over the next decade (California Healthline, 8/5).
President Obama, who has called for passage of the state financial aid package, is expected to sign the bill once the House approves it (CQ Today, 8/9).
On Tuesday during a White House Rose Garden event, Obama is scheduled to speak about the importance of the bill to the U.S. economy (Bohan/Colvin, Reuters, 8/9).This is part of the California Healthline Daily Edition, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.