Tell Your Legislators: Extend the Increase in Medicaid Funding-FMAP

Background:

The 2009 American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) included a temporary increase in federal Medicaid matching funds (called the FMAP) to help alleviate state budget pressures and prevent cuts in coverage during the current economic downturn. This increase in Medicaid funding ends in December of this year (2010), but states continue to face extraordinary difficulty balancing their budgets for the next fiscal year. As a result, many are considering cutting Medicaid benefits and provider rates as they develop their 2011 budgets, which begin on July 1. Moreover, without federal support for Medicaid programs, states will not have the resources they need to successfully implement health reform.

The House and Senate have both passed legislation to extend this enhanced rate of federal funding for Medicaid for six months, from January 1, 2011 through June 30, 2011. But unless final legislation extending this increase is enacted soon, states will be forced to make deep cuts in the benefits they cover and in reimbursement rates.

Representatives Chellie Pingree (D-Maine), Tammy Baldwin (D-Wis.), Gene Green (D-Tex.) and Lois Capps (D-Calif.) are circulating a letter (PDF) to urge House and Senate negotiators to finalize a bill extending this increase and send it on to the President for his signature.

Urge your legislators to take action in support of extending the FMAP increase. 

TAKE ACTION!

Contact your Senators and Representative by:

For the House of Representatives:

  • Call your Representative – either by calling the Congressional switchboard at 202-224-2131 and asking to be connected or dialing their office directly.
  • Urge your Representative to sign on to the FMAP Dear Colleague letter being circulated in the House by Reps. Pingree, Baldwin, Green and Capps by contacting Jennifer Taylor of Representative Pingree’s staff at jennifer.taylor@mail.house.gov.

For the Senate:

  • Call the Congressional switchboard at 202-224-3121 and ask to be connected with your Senator or dial their office directly and urge them to take action to ensure enactment of the FMAP increase extension and/or
  • Complete the “Email Your legislator” form by taking the following steps:

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Send This Message

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Dear [Decision Maker],

I am writing to urge you to support efforts to extend an increase in Medicaid funding to the states (known as the FMAP) through July of 2011.

Medicaid provides a critical link to needed mental health services for millions of low-income Americans. In light of the economic difficulties our nation is currently facing, many more of our citizens will need the assistance Medicaid provides, particularly mental health care. But, states will have increasing difficulty meeting those needs without additional federal support. Medicaid is the single largest source of public funding for mental health care, and thus cuts to this program would have a dramatic effect on access to mental health services.

The 2009 American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) included a temporary increase in federal Medicaid matching funds to help alleviate state budget pressures and prevent cuts in coverage during the current economic downturn. This increase in Medicaid funding ends in December of this year, but states continue to face extraordinary difficulty balancing their budgets for the next fiscal year. As a result many are considering cutting Medicaid benefits and/or provider reimbursement rates as they develop their 2011 budgets.

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I urge you to take action to ensure final legislation including the extension of the Medicaid increase is passed and sent to the President for his signature.

Sincerely,

[Your Name]
[Your Address]
[City, State ZIP]
[Your Email]

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