August 9, 2010
Due to your successful efforts in the Senate, the vote on extending higher federal Medicaid matching funds for states (FMAP) now goes to the House of Representatives.
This week, Speaker Nancy Pelosi is calling the House back into session from its August recess to vote on a six-month extension of FMAP. The vote is expected to take place on Tuesday, August 10. This vote is crucial to protecting Medicaid funding for evidence-based services for youth and adults living with mental illness. The President is expected to sign the bill if it passes the House.
Advocates are strongly encouraged to contact their House members and urge them to support the extended higher Medicaid FMAP funds and vote in favor of HR 1586. All House offices can be reached toll-free by calling (888) 340-6521.
HR 1586 includes both extended higher federal Medicaid matching funds (known as FMAP) and additional funding for state and local education agencies to avoid teacher layoffs in 2011. The Medicaid funds in the bill would extend the higher federal FMAP payments that were contained in the 2009 economic stimulus legislation (known as the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, ARRA) for an additional 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. For January – March, 2011, the federal Medicaid matching rate would be increased by 3.2 percentage points for all states and for April – 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 would continue to receive the additional percentage points, as they do under current law. This will ensure that states continue to receive increases throughout state 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