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August 10, 2010

President Approves Additional Medicaid Funding for States

The U.S. House voted on Tuesday (247/161) to approve H.R. 1586 that provides $16.1 billion to extend an enhanced match for Medicaid and child welfare programs for six-months. The enhanced match for the two programs was originally enacted in last year’s stimulus law to assist states in meeting increased obligations under Medicaid, as a result of high unemployment and the resulting increase in Medicaid enrollment. 

Medicaid, an individual entitlement program, provides health and long-term care services to low-income, aged and disabled Americans. President Barack Obama signed the bill Tuesday afternoon.

"Some have called this a 'bail-out' of state governments, but that is far from the truth," said Senator Richard T. Moore of Massachusetts, president of the National Conference of State Legislatures (NCSL). "This $16.1 billion will fund a congressional mandate to states. Without it, state legislatures have no alternative but to cut essential services such as public safety, corrections and other services for vulnerable populations."

For the past six months, NCSL has led the effort to have Congress fund this federal obligation on behalf of all 50 states and U.S. territories. This FMAP extension will cover the period from Jan. 1, 2011, to June 30, 2011.

For more information, please contact NCSL's public affairs division or NCSL's website.

NCSL is a bipartisan organization that serves the legislators and staffs of the states, commonwealths and territories. It provides research, technical assistance and opportunities for policymakers to exchange ideas on the most pressing state issues and is an effective and respected advocate for the interests of the states in the American federal system.