Senate passes $26.1 billion Medicaid package for the states; a House vote is slated for this week.
The Senate passed a $26.1 billion package of state aid that extends a higher federal share of Medicaid funding until mid-2011, clearing the way for a House vote early this week and earning plaudits from the provider sector. Under the bill, enhanced federal Medicaid funding—created by a 2009 economic stimulus package—would be phased down over two quarters in 2011. The federal government has been paying a 6.2% higher Medicaid match to states. But that amount will fall to 3.2% in the first quarter of 2011, then 1.2% in the second quarter running through June. The bill passed on a 61-39 vote.