August 4, 2010
Thank you to all our NAMI advocates who called or wrote their Senators in support of a six month extension of enhanced federal Medicaid matching payments (FMAP). Your voices made a difference. Today, the U.S. Senate passed an amendment by a vote of 61-38 that will bring millions in needed Medicaid funding to our states.
Take just a moment to contact your U.S. Senator if he or she supported the amendment that extends higher Medicaid FMAP payments. Your acknowledgement of their vote is important to them, particularly on this politically-charged issue.
How Did Your Senators Vote?
View the Senate roll call on the vote to cut off debate.
The amendment for extending higher Medicaid FMAP and education funds is now attached to HR 1586, legislation reauthorizing the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA). Once the Senate completes action of HR 1586, it must then move to the House before it can be sent to President Obama for his signature. The House is now in its August recess until the week of September 7, 2010.
Increased Medicaid FMAP Critical for Fighting Cuts to Services
The Medicaid FMAP funding in the amendment totals $16.1 billion. This would extend the higher federal FMAP payments contained in the 2009 economic stimulus legislation (known as the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act or ARRA) for six months. Under current law, the federal Medicaid matching rate has been increased by 6.2 percentage points for all States, and by additional percentage points for states with high unemployment.
These temporary increases were enacted as part of ARRA in 2009 in response to the increased burden on Medicaid programs and cuts imposed at the state level as a result of decreasing state revenues during the recession. The increase is scheduled to expire on December 31, 2010. The amendment will continue the additional federal assistance for six months, but would phase the level of assistance down. From January through March, 2011, the federal Medicaid matching rate would be increased by 3.2 percentage points for all States, and from April through June, 2011, the federal Medicaid matching rate would be increased by 1.2 percentage points for all States. For the same six-month period, states with high unemployment rates would continue to receive the additional percentage points, as they do under current law. This will ensure that states continue to receive increases throughout fiscal year 2011.
Additional information on the impact of economic downturn on state budgets and the Medicaid program can be found at:
Center on Budget and Policy Priorities
The Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation
National Low Income Housing Coalition