Medicaid Match Extension Dead For Now

Chris Whatley, director of the CSG DC office, reported in a staff meeting today that the extension of the enhanced Medicaid match appears to be dead for now. Last week for the third time, Democrats in the U.S. Senate failed to round up enough votes. Politico reports that Majority Leader Reid has pulled the bill from the agenda. The failed vote also leaves some longtime unemployed persons without unemployment benefits.

Nearly half of all states have already passed budgets depending upon the additional Medicaid monies. The Center on Budget and Policy Priorities has estimated that states stand to lose a total of $15 billion between January 1, 2011 and June 30, 2011. That budget gap will impact not just states’ Medicaid budgets, but will also trigger education, public safety and other program cuts in many states. Reuters reports that governors are poised to step up their lobbying to forestall drastic budget cutting as state grapple with how soon they must begin to implement their budget cutting measures.