Durbin: Senate Approves Legislation that Would Bring $600 Million in Medicaid Assistance to Illinois
[WASHINGTON, D.C.] – Assistant Senate Majority Leader Dick Durbin (D-IL) today announced that the United States Senate approved legislation that would bring an additional $600 million in funding for the Medicaid program in Illinois. The American Workers, State, and Business Relief Act of 2010 would extend the increased Medicaid federal match rate – or federal medical assistance percentage (FMAP) – made available to states under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act. The bill will now be sent to the House of Representatives for consideration.
“As the unemployment rate continues to rise and states across the country are faced with difficult budget cuts, the Medicaid program remains an important safety net for 2.4 million people in Illinois – including over 1 million children,” said Durbin. “The funding provided through the Recovery Act has allowed Illinois to add 190,000 people to the program in the last year alone. That’s thousands of children who are far more likely to have seen a doctor and a dentist; thousands of adults who are far more likely to have preventive care. An additional $600 million in federal funding will expand this safety net and help reduce the burden on states like Illinois.”
To help states with the troubling economy, Congress and the Obama Administration provided $87 billion in a temporary increase in federal Medicaid funds as part of the Recovery Act. As of April 1, 2009, the total federal Medicaid match rate for Illinois increased from 50% to almost 62%. Today’s legislation would extend that increase for six months, providing states additional funding through June 30, 2011.
To date, Illinois has used over $1.7 billion of the $2.9 billion in extra federal Medicaid funds made available by the Recovery Act through December 31, 2010. Without this state fiscal relief, states like Illinois would have faced much larger budget shortfalls, which would have resulted in much larger and more damaging spending cuts. It is estimated that the increase in federal Medicaid funding:
- Reduced or eliminated state budget deficits in 44 states;
- Reduced or eliminated Medicaid funding shortfalls in 36 states;
- Helped to pay for Medicaid enrollment increases due to the recession in 33 states;
- Reduced or averted Medicaid eligibility cuts in 29 states; and
- Reduced or avoid reductions in provider payments in 38 states.
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