States would get a temporary increase in their Medicaid federal medical assistance percentage, or FMAP, to help them provide healthcare to low-income residents under bipartisan legislation introduced in the House.
Under the bill, the Medicaid FMAP to states would go up by 2.95% for five quarters, the last two quarters of fiscal 2008 and the first three quarters of fiscal 2009. A 5.9% increase would be offered to U.S. territories.
The bill was introduced by Reps. John Dingell (D-Mich.), chairman of the House Energy and Commerce Committee; Frank Pallone, (D-N.J.), chairman of Energy and Commerces Health Subcommittee; Peter King (R-N.Y.); and Thomas Reynolds (R-N.Y.). The legislation was introduced shortly after the House and Senate decided not to include a similar measure in their economic stimulus bills.
The Medicaid program is critical, especially at a time when our national economy is struggling and our healthcare safety net is strained, Dingell said in a written statement. We must provide states with the fiscal relief needed to cover the most vulnerable among us. -- by Jennifer Lubell
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