Providers want a stimulus package to include medical assistance

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The American Health Care Association and the National Center for Assisted Living in a statement last week urged Congress and the White House to consider seniors' healthcare needs in any stimulus package passed to preempt a possible recession.

They asked lawmakers specifically to include a temporary increase in states' federal medical assistance percentage (FMAP). This effort, similar to one passed by Congress in 2003, would help ensure seniors' ability to access key Medicaid benefits should economic conditions worsen.

The temporary FMAP increase in 2003 sent $20 billion to the states in the form of Medicaid funds and revenue sharing that states could use for essential government services financing and unfunded federal mandates.