Pelosi urges Senate to pass stimulus package

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Make therapy caps lower, streamline review process, MedPAC chairman urges House committee
Make therapy caps lower, streamline review process, MedPAC chairman urges House committee
The current U.S. Senate should consider the $61 billion economic stimulus package that the House passed earlier this fall, suggested House Speaker Nancy Pelosi at a press conference this week.

Passing the stimulus package, which would contain a temporary increase in the federal medical assistance percentage (FMAP), is "the least we can do," Pelosi told reporters, adding that the next Congress could prepare another package if necessary. Increasing the FMAP would ensure seniors' services during the current economic crisis, the American Health Care Association has said.

The Democrats' to-do list for 2009, according to USA Today, also could include providing subsidies for small businesses to provide their employees with healthcare. The Boston Globe also suggests an Obama administration may look at the Massachusetts near-universal healthcare system as a potential model for national healthcare coverage. Expansion of the SCHIP program and federal funding for embryonic stem cell research are also expected to be on the agenda early in Obama's term.