House may address stimulus package this week

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House may address stimulus package this week
House may address stimulus package this week
A second stimulus package could emerge as a topic in a lame-duck session in the House this week. Any package is expected to include an increase to the federal medical assistance percentage (FMAP).

The subcommittee late last week held a hearing to discuss including a temporary increase to the FMAP as part of the package. Arizona Gov. Janet Napolitano (D) suggested increasing the FMAP by $25 billion per year over the next two years as a way to salvage state budgets, according to the Bureau of National Affairs. The American Health Care Association believes that a temporary increase in the FMAP for the Medicaid program would help avert painful state budget cuts to Medicaid.

Meanwhile, Alan Viard, economist with the American Enterprise Institute, expressed a different view of the proposed FMAP increase, saying it would not directly stimulate the economy, BNA reported. He argued that an FMAP increase would not increase consumer spending or business investment, and any benefits gained through changes in state tax policy would be of little help to the flagging economy.