Capitol Comments

The NY Times reports that Democrats failed again on Thursday, June 17, to win enough votes to move forward on approving the enhanced Medicaid match extension that many states are counting on in their FY 2011 budgets. “We’re not going to give up,” said Senator Harry Reid.

Despite losing a vote yesterday, U.S. Senator Harry Reid (D-Nevada) has vowed to continue to fight to add the six-month extension of the enhanced Medicaid match to HR 4213, the American Jobs and Closing Tax Loopholes Act. The act will also extend unemployment benefits that have already run out for some Americans.

Senate Democrats are reported to be shrinking...

Today Secretary Kathleen Sebelius, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, announced the availability of $250 million to expand the primary health care workforce. The funds are part of the federal reform legislation passed in March.

The funds will be used to expand the number of primary care physicians by 500 by 2015 and support training for additional physician assistants and nurse practitioners. States will be granted $5 million to plan and...

Worst case scenarios abound if Congress fails to extend for another six months the enhanced Medicaid match begun by the 2009 stimulus. CSG’s recent survey found that over half the states have already counted on the extension, from January 1 until June 30, 2011, in their budget deliberations for FY 2011. The Senate appears poised to put the extension back in the so-called “tax extender” bill next week.

Today the Kaiser Family Foundation teamed up with Urban Institute and released state-by-state estimates of the costs to meet the Medicaid coverage expansion mandated for 2014.

The report modeled two scenarios. The “standard participation” scenario uses CBO data that estimates 57 percent of newly eligible uninsured persons will enroll in Medicaid with an overall $21 billion increase in state expenses...

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