Bill May Provide Additional Federal Medicaid Funding

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Senate and House Democrats have prepared separate proposals for a second economic stimulus package that include additional federal funds for Medicaid and other programs, CQ Today reports.

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) and Senate Appropriations Committee Chair Robert Byrd (D-W.Va.) on Thursday released the details of a $56.2 billion package that includes additional federal funds for Medicaid, NIH and other programs (Clarke/Higa, CQ Today, 9/25). The package temporarily would increase the federal medical assistance percentage for Medicaid by four percentage points, a provision that would cost $19.6 billion (Sanchez, CongressDaily, 9/26). In addition, the package would provide an additional $1.2 billion for NIH.

The Senate could move the package as a separate bill or as an attachment to a continuing resolution (HR 2638) that would fund at current levels the budgets of most Cabinet departments and federal agencies until March 6, 2009. The Senate likely will vote on the CR on Saturday. Reid on Thursday said that he plans to limit debate on the package and seek a cloture vote on Saturday (CQ Today, 9/25). However, Senate Majority Whip Richard Durbin (D-Ill.) said that the package likely will not reach the floor until the Senate passes the CR and a proposed bailout for Wall Street firms (AP/Houston Chronicle, 9/25).

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Meanwhile, the House on Thursday released a $56 billion stimulus package (AP/Austin American-Statesman, 9/26). House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) said that the package would provide about $13 billion in additional federal funds for Medicaid. According to Pelosi, the package likely will reach the House floor on Friday (CQ Today, 9/25).

Prospects

According to the AP/Austin American-Statesman, with "most Republicans opposed, the stimulus plan is likely to stall" in Congress (AP/Austin American-Statesman, 9/26). In addition, President Bush has "expressed reservations about it," CongressDaily reports (CongressDaily, 9/26).

Reprinted with permission from kaisernetwork.org. You can view the entire Kaiser Daily Health Policy Report, search the archives, and sign up for email delivery at kaisernetwork.org/email . The Kaiser Daily Health Policy Report is published for kaisernetwork.org, a free service of The Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation. © 2007 Advisory Board Company and Kaiser Family Foundation. All rights reserved.

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