Medicaid Extension Still in Jeopardy—Contact Your Senators Today!

The American Jobs and Closing Tax Loopholes bill (H.R. 4213) still lacks enough support to make it through the Senate.  Today, it failed to garner the 60 votes needed. As a result, Senators are currently deciding how to pare down the cost of the bill. Urge your Senators to ensure that the extension of the increase in Medicaid funding for the states’ next fiscal year remains in the final bill.

Background

The Senate is currently debating a jobs creation and tax cut extender bill called the “American Jobs and Closing Tax Loopholes Act of 2010” (H.R. 4213) that extends dozens of expiring tax breaks as a means to stimulate the economy and also includes expanded unemployment benefits and an extension of the enhanced federal Medicaid payments to help alleviate state budget pressures. 

On June 16th, the bill failed to win enough support to move forward on a vote of 52 to 45 (with 60 votes needed).  To see how your Senators voted click here.  In response to concerns about the overall cost of the bill, Senate leaders are currently considering how to scale back some of the provisions.

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. 

Although the enhanced Medicaid funding expires at the end of December, states are still facing decreased revenues and increased demand for health care assistance.  A number of states have already incorporated an extension of the Medicaid assistance in their budgets for fiscal year 2011 which for most begins on July 1st.   In response, the Senate included a six-month extension of the increased federal Medicaid funding for states in its version of H.R. 4213.  The House had stripped this assistance out of the bill when it passed last month by a close vote of 215-204.

When this legislation came up for a vote in the Senate in March, it passed on a vote of 62-36 with the support of six Republican Senators –Snowe, Collins, Bond, Murkowski, Vitter, and Voinovich and one Democrat (Senator Ben Nelson (NE)) voted no. Click here for more details.

TAKE ACTION!

  • Contact your Senators—by calling the Congressional switchboard at 202-224-2131 and urge them to ensure the extension of the Medicaid funding increase remains in the "American Jobs and Closing Tax Loopholes Act of 2010 (HR 4213)"—before it is brought to a final vote on the Senate floor 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 ensure that the extension of the Medicaid funding increase remains in the "American Jobs and Closing Tax Loopholes Act of 2010 (HR 4213)" before it is brought to a final vote on the Senate floor.

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The increase in federal Medicaid funding was authorized in the 2009 American Recovery and Reinvestment Act to help alleviate state budget pressures and prevent cuts in coverage. Many states are still having extraordinary difficulty balancing their budgets for this next fiscal year which begins for most on July 1, 2010. But the supplemental federal Medicaid assistance will end in December -- mid-way through the state fiscal year. Without this increased federal support, many states will be forced to make cuts in their Medicaid programs.

I urge you to ensure that the extension of the Medicaid funding increase remains in the "American Jobs and Closing Tax Loopholes Act of 2010 (HR 4213)".


Sincerely,

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

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