U.S. Senate nixes extension of Medicaid supplements

The U.S. Senate voted June 16 against a bill that would have extended COBRA and increased Medicaid payments to the states.

Several state governors warned that they have already built the supplemental payments into their budgets and that they will have to cut programs if the bill doesn't pass. Oral health advocates worry that dental benefits for adults -- which the federal government gives states the option of including in Medicaid -- could be first on the chopping block.

Senate Democrats said they would try again to win passage of the bill, a $140 billion extension of tax breaks and safety-net programs, including COBRA, that is set to expire at the end of 2010.

In its version of the bill, the U.S House of Representatives pared off the $24.2 billion allocated to extend the Federal Medical Assistance Percentage (FMAP), under which the federal government pays a larger portion of Medicaid costs.

Fiscal conservatives in both chambers of Congress are demanding reduced spending, so Senate Democrats are looking for ways to cut back their version of the bill, which failed by a vote of 45-52, before putting it forward for another vote. FMAP may be one target.

Copyright © 2010 DrBicuspid.com

Page 1 of 176
Next Page