AHCA/NCAL Urges Inclusion of Medicaid Assistance in Possible Economic Stimulus Package

Relief for States Would Protect Vulnerable Seniors’ Care Needs

Below is a press release from the American Health Care Association (AHCA) and the National Center for Assisted Living (NCAL).

Contact: Katherine Lehman
(202) 898-2816 FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE 9/22/2008

Washington, DC – The American Health Care Association and the National Center for Assisted Living (AHCA/NCAL) today urged Congress to include in any possible economic stimulus package a temporary increase in states’ Federal Medical Assistance Percentage (FMAP), citing the success of a similar federal effort in 2003 that preserved seniors’ ability to access key Medicaid benefits and services in the face of state fiscal problems caused by worsening economic conditions.

“We strongly urge Congress to include a temporary increase in federal Medicaid assistance in any economic stimulus package that may be passed into law this year – whether it is prior to adjournment or after the November elections,” said Bruce Yarwood, President and CEO of AHCA/NCAL. “Federal economic stimulus of this nature would be a lifeline to many U.S. seniors now as it was in 2003, when a temporary Medicaid increase helped protect our most vulnerable citizens’ access to vital Medicaid care and services.”

AHCA/NCAL praised U.S. Senator Jay Rockefeller (D-WV) and U.S. Representatives Frank Pallone (D-NJ), John Dingell (D-MI), Peter King (R-NY), and Thomas Reynolds (R-NY) for championing an FMAP boost by introducing S. 2620 and H.R. 5268, legislation that would provide for a temporary increase of the federal medical assistance percentage under the Medicaid Program. The overwhelming support in Congress for this legislation, with 161 co-sponsors, highlights the importance of the Medicaid program to the care needs of vulnerable seniors, persons with disabilities, and those who rely on Medicaid during the ongoing economic downturn.

“We intend to ensure lawmakers on Capitol Hill understand and remember why Medicaid assistance in 2003 was good public policy then, and would be good public policy now, in regard to protecting seniors’ access to quality health care,” Yarwood concluded.

The American Health Care Association and National Center for Assisted Living (NCAL) represent nearly 11,000 non-profit and proprietary facilities dedicated to continuous improvement in the delivery of professional and compassionate care provided daily by millions of caring employees to 1.5 million of our nation’s frail, elderly and disabled citizens who live in nursing facilities, assisted living residences, subacute centers and homes for persons with mental retardation and developmental disabilities. For more information, please visit http://www.ahca.org¬†or http://www.ncal.org/.

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