KHN Morning Briefing

Summaries of health policy coverage from major news organizations.

States Anxiously Hoping For Extra Medicaid Funds Extension

Kaiser Health News: "Democrats are leaving Washington for their July 4th recess without passing key parts of their health agenda. Among the provisions being left for when Congress returns from a week-long break: enhanced Medicaid aid for states and a subsidy to help the laid off afford to keep their former employer's health insurance. ... Congress could revisit the issue the week of July 13 and governors say they must do so soon or states will have to start slashing budgets and laying off workers" (Villegas, 7/2).

The Christian Science Monitor: States are entering their new budget years with a some financial uncertainty. "The recession means more people are relying on [Medicaid] to cover health-care needs, pushing up this already-large cost for states. Most governors have collectively asked Congress for more than $20 billion to help cover the cost in the coming year" (Trumbull, 7/1).

For example, Maryland could face up to a $389 million Medicaid gap without the extension in increased Medicaid money, the Baltimore Business Journal reports. "Talk among some federal lawmakers now centers around lowering the Medicaid funding boost to $16 billion, said Joe DeMattos, the president of the Health Facilities Association of Maryland, who recently has spent time on Capitol Hill lobbying for the legislation's passage. If the federal money for Medicaid is not approved by the end of this calendar year - which also concludes the first half of fiscal 2011 - Maryland most likely will dip into its local income tax reserve fund, said Shaun Adamec, a spokesman for Gov. Martin O'Malley" (Graham, 7/1).

Pittsburgh Business Times: "Pennsylvania's Legislature passed a state budget June 30 that includes a 4 percent increase in funding for Medicaid-managed care organizations, but the money hinges on the state receiving [the extra] $850 million in federal aid" (Mamula, 7/1).

Related, earlier KHN story: Governors To Congress: Extend Extra Medicaid Funds (Gold, 6/30)

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