Obama calls for Medicaid increase in stimulus package

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Obama calls for Medicaid increase in stimulus package
Obama calls for Medicaid increase in stimulus package
The American Health Care Association and the National Center for Assisted Living, both long-term care groups, praised President-elect Barack Obama Monday for promoting an economic-stimulus package that includes needed Medicaid funds for states.

Pressure has been building on Congress to pass such a package in its lame-duck session. If Congress does not do it, it will be his first order of business when he takes office, President-elect Barack Obama said recently.

There is strong support for including an increase in the federal medical assistance percentage (FMAP) in any upcoming economic stimulus package. Raising the FMAP would increase Medicaid funding to states, many of which are threatening to cut Medicaid to make up for budget shortfalls. Besides the stimulus package, Obama likely will be under pressure to provide universal healthcare when he takes office. Labor unions and physicians groups have already begun campaigns to persuade Mr. Obama to pass legislation allowing for the establishment of a comprehensive national health program.