Nursing home operators and otherproviders have some powerful opponents when it comes to at least onekey aspect of the economic stimulus bill now in the U.S. Senate: thecountry’s governors. States’ top execs have come out against anamendment from Sen. Charles Grassley (R-IA) that would essentiallyguarantee providers retain existing Medicaid reimbursement rates.

The amendment (A. 387) would requirestates to retain their current Medicaid provider reimbursement ratesif they want to partake in the roughly $85 billion funding packageand its rich Federal Medical Assistance Percentage (FMAP) funding.The NationalGovernors Association, however, sent Senators a letter urging them to“reject attempts to further restrict states’ eligibility for theenhanced Medicaid FMAP.”

The Senate was toresume debate on the bill this week. Legislative leaders are hopingto pass a Senate bill and reconcile it with a previously approvedHouse version by the end of the week, according to observers.Medicaid is the top single payer of nursing home services in theUnited States.