With the Senate’s approval today to extend the enhanced Medicaid matching rate (aka FMAP) until
June 30, 2011, cash-strapped states and their most vulnerable residents can rest
a bit easier. This measure
will now return to the House of Representatives where it is expected to be
approved next week.
As the bipartisan National Governors’ Association (NGA)
“Funding for FMAP is a particularly effective tool
because it immediately allows Governors to eliminate planned budget cuts
required to meet balanced budget requirements and continue services for those
with the greatest need.”
My colleagues at CCF, Liz Arjun,
Joe Touschner and Jocelyn Guyer have blogged extensively on this topic and articulated well why approval of fiscal relief to the states is so crucial.
Families USA and many others have been on the frontlines making sure
Congress realized the severe consequences of failing to extend the increased
Medicaid matching rate during these tough economic times.
The legislation also provides $10 billion to local
governments to help them avert layoffs of teachers and other public-sector
workers like firemen and police officers.