Casey Again Urges Senate Passage of FMAP Assistance for PA

WASHINGTON, DC— U.S. Senator Bob Casey (D-PA) today again urged leaders in the Senate to move to pass increased federal medical assistance percentage (FMAP) funding for states to avoid state budget cuts and layoffs.  In a letter urging that the measure be added to the next available legislative vehicle, Senator Casey highlighted the urgency of the measure to Pennsylvania.  Pennsylvania’s budget has assumed the state would receive $850 million from increased FMAP assistance.

“In the current economic climate where states are struggling with severe state budget deficits, it is imperative that the Senate approve an extension of FMAP funding through June 30, 2011,” wrote Senator Casey.  “Without the extended FMAP funding, Governors in several states will be forced to make drastic cuts that will result in the loss of jobs and a reduction in social service programs.  These actions will harm the economic recovery and hurt some of the most vulnerable adults and children who depend on the services these programs offer.”

Senator Casey has been a strong proponent of extending FMAP aid to the states.  He has voted in favor of advancing this measure five times.  Providing this aid to states like Pennsylvania has received majority support in the Senate, however it has not received the 60 votes required to prevent efforts by Senate Republicans to block the relief.

A copy of Senator Casey’s letter is attached.

                                                                        
###

July 27, 2010

The Honorable Max Baucus
Chairman, Committee on Finance
Unites States Senate                                                                         
219 Dirksen Senate Office Building
Washington, DC 20510         

Dear Chairman Baucus:

As you know, the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act included increased federal medical assistance percentage (FMAP) funding for states.  This funding is set to expire on December 31, 2010, but many state budgets run through June 30, 2011, including Pennsylvania’s, and many Governors have calculated additional FMAP funding into their state budgets.  

In the current economic climate where states are struggling with severe state budget deficits, it is imperative that the Senate approve an extension of FMAP funding through June 30, 2011.  Without the extended FMAP funding, Governors in several states will be forced to make drastic cuts that will result in the loss of jobs and a reduction in social service programs.  These actions will harm the economic recovery and hurt some of the most vulnerable adults and children who depend on the services these programs offer.

I know you are in agreement with me on the need for extended funding and appreciate the work you have done to date on this issue.  However, with August recess fast approaching I feel compelled to write and respectfully request that you include this provision in the earliest possible legislative vehicle.

Thank you for your attention to this important matter.  

Sincerely,

Robert P. Casey, Jr.                                       
United States Senator