Stimulus Watch: Lame Duck Congress ‘Unlikely’ To Approve Extra Medicaid Funding

Last week, Congressional Quarterly reported that a “broad-based stimulus favored by Democrats” that includes additional federal Medicaid funds for states “seems highly unlikely” to pass this week during a lame-duck session of Congress” and would have to wait until next year.

According to Roll Call, Republicans would likely object to Sen. Harry Reid’s (D-NV) request for unanimous consent on a stimulus package. In the House, “any stimulus package that reaches the floor would include additional federal Medicaid funds for states, although the increase would remain small in an effort to prevent a veto by President Bush.”

This blog has pointed out, however, that growing unemployment has translated into an increase in Medicaid enrollment, straining state budgets across the country.

In fact, according to a new Government Accountability Organization report, absent policy changes, “state and local governments would face an increasing gap between receipts and expenditures in the coming years”:

Growing health costs are “the primary driver of the fiscal challenges facing the state and local sector over the long term”: