House stimulus bill omits Medicaid pay hike

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Despite pressure from long-term care providers, the House on Thursday reached a tentative agreement with the White House on an economic stimulus bill that does not include a temporary funding increase for Medicaid providers. Senate leaders, however, said they still might include a Medicaid increase for states.

House Republicans embraced the idea of increases in food stamp benefits and unemployment benefits, but they questioned whether pumping up Medicaid pay would benefit the economy, according to news sources.

The American Health Care Association and National Center for Assisted Living have lobbied lawmakers to include a temporary increase in state's federal medical assistance percentage, which would help ensure seniors' ability to access key Medicaid benefits in the event of a recession. Congress hopes to send a completed proposal to the White House by Feb. 15.

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