Sens. Jay Rockefeller (D-W.Va.) and Gordon Smith (R-Ore.) introduced legislation to extend a temporary boost in the federal medical assistance percentage, or FMAP, which sets the federal share of state Medicaid budgets. A temporary boost worth $20 billion expired July 1. Under the Rockefeller-Smith bill, states would end up with about $6 billion more divided among them, $4.5 billion of which would be slated for Medicaid. Each states' FMAP would rise 1.26% retroactive to July 1 and extending through Sept. 30, 2005. Scheduled FMAP cuts would be frozen. An additional $1.2 billion would be allocated to help states implement the Medicare prescription drug benefit. A companion bill has not been introduced in the House. States have said that without an extension of the FMAP increase, their Medicaid programs may be forced to cut benefits or drop beneficiaries. -- by Tony Fong
Bill would extend federal Medicaid boost
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