The Senate accepted an amendment that would increase federal Medicaid matching funds by $6 billion in an 18-month period as a temporary measure to ease state budget shortfalls, which threaten some Medicaid programs. The amendment -- sponsored by Sens. John Rockefeller (D-W.Va.), Susan Collins (R-Maine) and Ben Nelson (D-Neb.) -- was tacked on to a bill that aims to expand the availability of generic drugs. A vote on the larger bill is expected before the current Senate session ends Aug. 2. Also included in the amendment is $3 billion for state social services, such as childcare. The American Hospital Association applauded the plan, saying, "In 2000, hospitals received 82 cents for every dollar in care for every Medicaid patient. No hospital can continue to sustain such losses and continue to deliver health services to its community." -- by Jeff Tieman
Senate adds $6 billion Medicaid increase to bill
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