Medicaid Reimbursements Increase In Stimulus Package
House Democrats might provide states with billions of dollars in additional Medicaid reimbursements as part of a second economic stimulus package that they plan to pass before Congress adjourns later this month, according to Democratic aides, CQ Today reports. Democratic aides said that the amount of additional Medicaid reimbursements that the legislation would provide and the total cost of the bill remain undetermined. The National Governors Association in January asked Congress to provide $6 billion in additional Medicaid reimbursements.
According to CQ Today, the additional Medicaid reimbursements, which could "prevent thousands of people from being kicked out" of the program and SCHIP, likely would require states to agree not to "cut eligibility for Medicaid or services they provide under the program" as they seek to address budget deficits.
Twenty-nine states will have budget deficits for fiscal year 2009, and 13 of those states have implemented or have begun to consider reductions in spending for health care programs, according to the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities. Edwin Park, a senior fellow at CBPP, said, "States are just starting to consider health care cuts," adding, "If fiscal relief could happen, you avert those cuts from ever happening" (Wayne, CQ Today, 9/12).
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