Senate returns from recess, restores additional Medicaid funding for states to jobs bill

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Senate Finance Committee Chairman Max Baucus (D-MT)
Senate Finance Committee Chairman Max Baucus (D-MT)

Nearly $25 billion in additional Medicaid funding cut from a jobs bill by the House of Representatives has been tentatively reinstated by the Senate, which took up debate on the measure shortly after its members returned from the Memorial Day recess.

Governors, state legislators and liberals protested the House's decision to drop a six-month extension of a temporary increase in the federal medical assistance percentage. Reinstating the funds likely will receive broad bipartisan support, however, since as many as 30 states had already included the money in their budgets for the upcoming fiscal year. Many senators are feeling pressure from their statehouses to bring home the extra funding, according to Politico.

The jobs bill also would forestall a 21% pay cut for Medicare physicians — replacing it with slight raises this year and next – and reinstate jobless benefits for roughly 323,000 people. The Senate is not expected to act on the measure until at least next week.