House Panel Mulls Medicaid Help in Second Stimulus Package
The House Energy and Commerce Health Subcommittee plans to hold a hearing today that "might turn up the heat on congressional leaders to include Medicaid relief for states in a second economic stimulus package," CongressDaily reports.
According to an advisory sent on Monday by committee Democrats, the hearing will examine the effects of the current economic conditions on state Medicaid programs and whether additional federal funds would help.
In February, subcommittee Chair Frank Pallone (D-N.J.) and committee Chair John Dingell (D-Mich.) proposed a bill (HR 5268) that would increase temporarily the federal medical assistance percentage states receive for Medicaid by almost three points, and Pallone hopes to include the legislation in the second stimulus package.
Pallone spokesperson Andrew Souvall said, "Congressman Pallone strongly supports including FMAP language in the second economic stimulus," adding, "He has been pushing for its inclusion."
A spokesperson for House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) said that the second stimulus package could include additional federal funds for state Medicaid programs.
Subcommittee ranking member Nathan Deal (R-Ga.) has not taken a position on whether the second stimulus package should include additional federal funds for state Medicaid programs but has concerns about the cost, according to Deal spokesperson Chris Riley.
In addition, the Republican Study Committee released a policy brief on Monday in opposition to a temporary increase in FMAP. The brief stated, "A second 'temporary' increase would only provide additional incentive for states to expand their Medicaid entitlement spending, knowing that the federal government will provide additional funding to make up their own budgetary shortfalls" (Edney, CongressDaily, 7/22).
On Tuesday, American Public Media's "Marketplace Morning Report" reported on the possibility that the second stimulus package could include additional federal funds for state Medicaid programs. The segment includes comments from Stan Dorn of the Urban Institute and New Jersey Department of Health Commissioner Heather Howard (Henn, "Marketplace Morning Report," American Public Media, 7/22).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.