Medicaid funding for states still in play after last week's defeats

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Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV)
Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV)

Despite back-to-back defeats on the measure, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) said he has no plans to table debate on an extenders bill containing nearly $25 billion in additional Medicaid funds for states.

Senators twice blocked the bill, which, until recently also contained an extension of jobless benefits and a delay in a scheduled reduction of Medicare physicians' pay. The Senate removed and separately passed a temporary physician payment fix. But the future of the other provisions, including an extension of the federal medical assistance percentage (FMAP) increase, remains uncertain. Reid on Monday confirmed that he would continue to work on the measure following consideration of some nominees to posts that are subject to Senate confirmation, The Hill newspaper reported.

Rumors had been circling the capital that the two defeats of the extenders bill would force Reid to set the measure aside and focus instead on tax relief and small business loans, according to The Hill. Members of the House of Representatives have been clamoring for Senate action on small-business jobs bills their chamber has already passed twice.

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