Senate Finance Committee Approves Tax Cut Bill That May Include Medicaid Funds for States
The Senate Finance Committee yesterday voted 12-9 to approve a 10-year, $350 billion tax cut bill that may include funds for state Medicaid programs, the New York Times reports. The bill, sponsored by committee Chair Charles Grassley (R-Iowa), includes $20 billion in "unspecified aid" to states, the Times reports (Rosenbaum, New York Times, 5/9). The Des Moines Register on Wednesday reported that the bill would allocate a large part of the $20 billion for state Medicaid programs (California Healthline, 5/8). Grassley yesterday said that lawmakers would draft the exact language of the $20 billion provision on the Senate floor (New York Times, 5/9). The House version of the tax cut bill does not include funds for states, but House Democrats on Wednesday planned to announce a tax cut bill that would include $44 billion in funds for states for their Medicaid programs and infrastructure investments (American Health Line, 5/8).
A bill to provide funds for states and their Medicaid programs is a "far more effective tool" than tax cuts in efforts to stimulate the economy, according to a Des Moines Register editorial. Additional funds for Medicaid and other state social programs would "improve the quality of life for people in states and it would put money directly into the paychecks of people who will spend it," the editorial states. Although Grassley has "taken a welcome step" with the proposal of a tax cut bill that would provide funds for states, "$20 billion is not enough," the editorial concludes (Des Moines Register, 5/9).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.