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Passage of Medicaid FMAP Extension Will Preserve Quality Care, Key Frontline Jobs

Friday, August 6, 2010 Hospital News J E 4
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– Supported by strong bipartisan majority of nation's governors –

– Bill moves one step closer to becoming law –

WASHINGTON, Aug. 5 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- With the Senate approval today to extend emergency Medicaid relief (FMAP) until June 30, 2011, the American Health Care Association (AHCA) and the Alliance for Quality Nursing Home Care praised the vote and urged the House of Representatives to follow suit, saying the additional $16.1 billion in federal funding will help the nation's most vulnerable seniors retain access to quality care, while protecting key frontline health jobs.

"We applaud the Senate for taking action to pass this vital Medicaid relief, and urge the House to follow in the same manner. Every day that passes without an extension of this funding, seniors' care is placed in jeopardy, facility staffing stability is compromised, and good, local health jobs are put at risk," said Bruce Yarwood, President and CEO of AHCA. "The time to act is now. Our governors have repeatedly expressed the desperate need for relief, and we ask Congress to act on this critical health care policy matter."

"Senate passage of this legislation brings us one step closer to providing the vital funding needed to protect every senior's access to the skilled nursing and rehabilitative care they require and deserve," said Alan G. Rosenbloom, President of the Alliance. "We thank those Senators who took this stand for seniors and urge the House to follow with swift passage as well."

Yarwood and Rosenbloom pointed out that adequate Medicaid funding is directly linked with skilled nursing care and local caregiver job stability throughout America. Without the extension of emergency Medicaid relief, pressure mounts on governors to further reduce Medicaid-financed care and services.

A strong bipartisan majority of governors are adamant about the need for immediate action, as the National Governors' Association (NGA) recently noted, "Funding for FMAP is a particularly effective tool because it immediately allows Governors to eliminate planned budget cuts required to meet balanced budget requirements and continue services for those with the greatest need."

"We urge state legislatures and governors to use this increased funding to ensure our nation's seniors receive the funding necessary to provide high quality care as well as job stability for frontline caregivers," concluded Yarwood and Rosenbloom.

This measure will now return to the House of Representatives, where it could be considered as early as September when Members return from the August work period.

SOURCE American Health Care Association

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