House presses for extension of state Medicaid assistance

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HHS awards more than $13 million to help lessen nursing shortage
HHS awards more than $13 million to help lessen nursing shortage

A narrow majority of members of the House of Representatives is urging House leaders to extend a temporary increase in the federal medical assistance percentage, which helps fund nursing homes and other Medicaid programs.

The bipartisan May 7 letter, which 216 Democrats and three Republicans signed, asks House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) and Minority Leader John Boehner (R-OH) to quickly settle any outstanding differences between a House-approved and a Senate-approved FMAP extension. Though both chambers have already passed legislation that would extend the FMAP increase through June 2011, the bills have yet to be reconciled and given to President Obama for his approval.

“Without this funding, our states will be forced to make severe cuts to Medicaid providers and benefits,” the lawmakers wrote.

Nursing homes typically receive the majority of their funding from Medicaid. A House bill, H.R. 4213, includes the FMAP extension. A vote is expected on the measure sometime next week, according to a report from the Bureau of National Affairs.