Senate readies for vote on FMAP amendment

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Sen. John Thune (R-SD)
Sen. John Thune (R-SD)

Senators this week are expected to vote on an amendment that would extend the increase in the federal medical assistance percentage (FMAP) until the end of next June.

The Senate last week introduced an amendment to the American Jobs and Closing Tax Loopholes Act (H.R. 4213). Under the amendment, the FMAP increase would continue for six more months. It is currently sent to end at the end of December. Nursing home providers have been vocal in their support of this amendment. Because of budget shortfalls, many states are cutting Medicaid spending, which affects facilities, they argue.

Meanwhile, Senate Republicans, who are largely opposed to the extension of the FMAP, have introduced an substitute amendment that would exclude the proposed extension in the final bill. Sen. John Thune (R-SD) introduced it. Both amendments would delay a 21% Medicare payment cut to physicians, when went into effect on June 1. If the Senate passes the FMAP extension amendment, the bill would have to return to the House for a vote.