By a 53-43 vote, the Senate on March 10th, rejected efforts to cut Medicaid by $11 billion over the next five years. The bipartisan vote came on an amendment by Senator Max Baucus (D-MT) to strike provisions in the FY 2005 budget resolution that would have required the Medicaid cuts to have been put in place by the end of the year.
This bipartisan opposition to further cuts to the Medicaid program demonstrates the broad support that Medicaid has a key health care safety net and the largest and most important source of funding for public mental illness treatment services. NAMI is grateful for the leadership of Senator Baucus and his colleagues on this important issue.
On March 11th, the Senate will vote on an amendment being offered by Senator Jay Rockefeller (D-WV) to extend the current enhanced federal Medicaid match (also known as FMAP) for another year -- the current increased match rate for all states is due to expire on June 30.
All NAMI advocates are urged to contact their Senators in support of the Rockefeller Medicaid FMAP amendment. All Senators can be reached by calling the Capitol Switchboard toll free at 1-800-839-5276 or at 202-224-3121 or online through www.congress.org.