The County Voice

House Vote on FMAP Extension Eases State Budget Stress (a little)

The House of Representatives, back in Washington for an unprecedented summer recess vote, adopted a six-month extension of the enhanced Federal Medical Assistance Percentages (FMAP) this afternoon in a 247 to 161 vote. California will receive an estimated additional $1.869 billion in FMAP funding and $1.2 billion in education and teacher funding, according to the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities.

While the final bill (HR 1586) was reduced by one-third (from $24 billion to $16 billion), shortened to six months (until June 30, 2011) and only passed because of a series of additional offsets (most notably by reducing Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, of Food Stamps, benefits by ending the economic stimulus monthly benefit extension in April of 2014), it still provides a significant boost for California’s state budget, which had already scored the enhanced FMAP extension for the 2010-11 fiscal year. The state uses the enhanced FMAP funding to help pay for Medi-Cal, In Home Supportive Services, and other services which are reimbursable by Medicaid.

The House vote occurred quickly, with two Republicans voting “aye” and three Democrats against. After the vote, Speaker Pelosi personally walked the bill over to President Obama for his signature this afternoon.

The Center on Budget and Policy Priorities has issued a two-page report on the funding anticipated under the bill.

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