WASHINGTON, June 30 Pennsylvania Governor Edward G. Rendell and a bipartisan group of governors from across the nation today urged Congress to extend federal Medicaid assistance to states, warning that a failure to do so would bring dire economic and human consequences and lead to dramatic reductions in public services.
"The six-month extension of FMAP funding is vitally important to the people of America, to the services they receive, and to the economic recovery of this country," said Governor Rendell. "Right now, the most important thing is the recovery. We're starting to see real signs of hope, and this is not the time to stop our progress. We need Congress to act -- and act now."
The governors of Michigan, Washington, Maryland, Kansas, New York, Illinois, California, Colorado and Connecticut stood with Governor Rendell in Washington or participated via videoconference or telephone. Several other governors sent letters of support.
Up to 30 state budgets, proposed by both Republicans and Democrats, are relying on the extension of FMAP funds to avoid devastating cuts.
In Pennsylvania, Governor Rendell said the loss of FMAP funding would result in serious cutbacks in education and social services and also result in thousands of layoffs in those sectors, including job losses at the county and local levels.
According to a recent report by the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, inaction by Congress "will force the states - which are struggling with an unprecedented drop in revenues due to the recession - to make even deeper spending cuts and raise taxes even more than otherwise in order to balance their budgets. These actions will slow the economic recovery and raise the risk of a double-dip recession as the loss of spending power ripples through the economy."
The news conference may be viewed online at: http://www.visualwebcaster.com/event.asp?id=70319.
Media contact: Gary Tuma, 717-783-1116
SOURCE Pennsylvania Office of the Governor