McDonnell urged to lobby Congress to extend enhanced Medicaid money
Days after Gov. Bob McDonnell said he doesn't plan to urge Congress to extend enhanced Medicaid spending, some Virginians are asking him to reconsider.
Voices for Virginia's Children, a statewide advocacy group, sent out an alert to supporters this week asking them to e-mail Virginia's congressional delegation.
"Unfortunately, the Governor told reporters yesterday that he ... is no longer urging Virginia's congressional delegation to include funding that is vital to protect services for kids while also creating jobs and supporting Virginia's economy,'' the alert said. "We need the Governor's support!"
McDonnell (R) said Monday he has concerns that the enhanced Medicaid spending could contribute to a ballooning federal deficit.
"Virginia's families deserve better than political word games," said Adam Sharp, a member of the Virginia Young Democrats. "They deserve a governor dedicated to helping them get by and stay healthy in these difficult economic times, and a governor who understands that a jobs agenda is about keeping jobs as much as it is creating them."
McDonnell had signed a letter in February, along with most of the nation's other governors, asking Congress to extend the additional Medicaid dollars, known as the enhanced FMAP.
McDonnell spokesman Tucker Martin said Wednesday that the governor's position has not changed. He said McDonnell still supports the additional Medicaid funding but is not lobbying for the bill.
Virginia passed a budget this year that included cuts to health care, but legislators said the cuts probably would not go into effect because Congress would approve a bill to extend enhanced Medicaid funding for states. Congressional leaders have expressed support for the extension, but the two chambers have yet to pass a bill.
The Senate may pass its jobs bill, which includes the FMAP money, as soon as Thursday, but a test vote failed Wednesday.
The governor said the state was no longer counting on the federal money. Without the additional federal money, the state will have to trim a variety of programs. You can find some of them listed here.
June 17, 2010; 8:00 AM ET
Categories: Anita Kumar , General Assembly 2010 , House of Delegates , Robert F. McDonnell , State Senate
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