Jobs Bill Missing Medicaid Money For States, Governors Call For Change

The $15 billion jobs bill that passed the Senate Monday does not include additional matching funds for state Medicaid programs, but governors are continuing to ask for its inclusion as they look for other ways to plus state budget holes made from Medicaid liabilities.

The (Springfield, Mo.) News-Leader reports that both Missouri Senators Kit Bond, a Republican, and Claire McCaskill, a Democrat, voted for the jobs bill that doesn't include $300 million for Missouri's Medicaid program. "Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon's 2011 fiscal year budget assumes Missouri will get an additional $300 million through the jobs bill working its way through Congress. Nixon, a Democrat, also has plugged in the state's remaining $900 million in budget stabilization funds from last year's $862 billion stimulus act. Unwilling to wait on Washington, GOP House Budget Chairman Allen Icet has ordered his subcommittee chairmen to come up with a plan to cut $350 million from Nixon's budget if the additional federal aid doesn't come through" (Livengood, 2/22).

In New Hampshire, the Concord Monitor reports that Gov. John Lynch has joined other governors in asking the government to continue to pay for more of the state's Medicaid program. "Lynch spoke from Washington, D.C., where he is attending the National Governors Association's annual meeting. He said 40 governors signed a letter urging Congress to extend benefits allotted through Federal Medical Assistance Percentages, which the federal government uses to decide how much money it gives to Medicaid for every state dollar that is spent." The benefits from FMAP are set to expire Jan. 1, 2011. "New Hampshire already received $81 million since the extended benefits started in fiscal year 2009, according to the Department of Health and Human Services. By the time the program ends in 2011, the state expects to get $200 million. Lynch said New Hampshire can expect to get an additional $30 million if the benefits are extended. President Obama supports an extension" (Schoenberg, 2/23).

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