Governors cite need for Medicaid funding

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Gov. Joe Manchin III (D)
Gov. Joe Manchin III (D)
The nation's governors last month stepped up appeals to Congress to approve legislation that extends an increase in the federal medical assistance percentage (FMAP). At press time, Congress had not mustered the votes to pass a bill that would extend a 6.25% increase in federal Medicaid funding by six months. The current extension is scheduled to expire by the end of the year. The Medicaid program is the number one payment source of nursing home care in America.

“All states still are facing tough fiscal situations even though I do believe we're in recovery,” said Gov. Joe Manchin (D-WV), the new chairman of the National Governors Association.

Many states facing severe deficits have said they would be forced to slash services such as hospice care and reduce payments to Medicaid providers if additional funds were not approved soon.

Compounding problems is that 28 states had factored an extension into their fiscal 2011 budgets.

Still, some fiscally conservative governors balked about the idea of more federal assistance.