Durbin Discusses $550 Million For Illinois Medicaid Program With Local Hospital Leaders

[KANKAKEE, IL] – Senator Dick Durbin (D-IL) today discussed the impact that recently passed federal assistance to state governments, including more than $550 million for Illinois’ Medicaid program, will have on local hospitals. The legislation, which will extend and phase down the Federal matching rate for Medicaid (FMAP) for an additional 6 months, passed the Senate last week and will be taken up by the House on Tuesday.


“As a result of the recession, Illinois is facing a budget shortfall of nearly $13 billion for the upcoming fiscal year, and has had to make some hard choices,” Durbin said. The legislation will help prevent Illinois’ Medicaid program, which provides health insurance for the state’s poorest residents, from being forced to cut eligibility, benefits, and payments to the medical providers who see Medicaid patients. These much needed federal funds will protect our state’s most vulnerable during this time of need and provide immediate relief to state and local economies.”


As part of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, Illinois’ FMAP rate increased from 50% to 62%. However, this increase is set to expire on December 31st, 2010. This legislation would extend and phase out increases in the Medicaid matching rate for 6 months, through June 30, 2011, the end of the state’s fiscal year.


Nationwide, the bill will provide $16.1 billion to states to ensure that they continue to receive an increased FMAP rate. In Illinois, it will provide $550 million to make certain that 2.6 million low- and moderate-income people in the state, including children, pregnant women and people with developmental disabilities and mental illness do not lose their access to affordable health coverage through Medicaid. The measure, which is supported by 47 Republican and Democratic governors, is fully offset and will not add to the federal deficit.