States Preparing To Cut Back Medicaid Programs as Federal Funds Dry Up
State governors and health care industry representatives continue to push Congress for crucial state Medicaid funding, but the slim prospects for receiving new funds mean that some states could be forced to turn to contingency plans or make significant budget cuts, theÂ Wall Street Journal reports (Adamy, Wall Street Journal, 7/13).
An Issue for Some Time
The 2009 federal economic stimulus package provided extra Medicaid funding through the end of 2010. Lawmakers initially aimed to extend the Medicaid assistance through mid-2011 by including the funds in the "extenders" bill (HR 4213), which failed to advance in the Senate.
Many states already accounted for the extra funding in their annual budgets that began on July 1. At least 30 states are relying on an aid extension, and a group of bipartisan governors has said the aid must reach states before Congress' August recess to prevent significant cuts to various state programs and jobs (California Healthline, 7/12).
Several state governors and representatives of the hospital and nursing home industries are expected to personally lobby lawmakers for the funds in the next few weeks (Norman, CQ HealthBeat, 7/12).
Prospects for Legislation
A spokesperson for Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) said the Senate likely would take up the issue as a stand-alone bill later this month (Wall Street Journal, 7/13).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.