Senator Reid Vows to Keep Fighting for Medicaid Enhanced Match Extension

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 the total cost of the measure by about $20 million. The question remains whether the changes will win over the 12 Democrats who voted against the measure on Wednesday, June 16th, and one Republican needed to reach the 60 votes needed for passage.

A CSG survey found the majority of states are counting on the extension to avoid budget-busting holes in FY 2011, forcing budget cuts in all major program areas, including education and public safety as well as health. Maine is already looking at making cuts beginning July 1 if the extension does not pass by then.