Economic stimulus bill faces alterations in Senate

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McCain spokesman denies Obama's Medicare claims
McCain spokesman denies Obama's Medicare claims
Senators in Washington this week will meet to discuss proposed changes to a nearly $900 billion stimulus package, which includes billions of dollars in additional state Medicaid funding, according to recent reports.

One proposal making the rounds on the Hill involves restructuring the $87 billion increase to states' federal medical assistance percentage (FMAP). Some Republicans are asking that the $87 billion be issued as a loan, rather than a simple increase in funding. Additionally, Sen. Charles Grassley (R-IA) has asked that loans be disbursed in a way that ensures rural states receive a "fair share," according to an article in The Washington Post.

Senate Democrats are likely to accommodate Republicans on certain issues because the Senate will require at least two Republican votes to pass the bill and avoid a filibuster from the minority party. Despite all the haggling on the Hill, however, hopes are high that the Senate stimulus will pass with some support from the Republicans, according to news reports.

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