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www.aha.org

Monday, January 27th 2003

Dear Senator:

On behalf of our nearly 5,000 hospital, health care system, network and other health care provider members, the American Hospital Association is writing to express our support for Medicaid state fiscal relief and the legislation to increase the Medicaid federal medical assistance percentage (FMAP) - S.138 - introduced by Senators John Rockefeller IV (D-WV), Susan Collins (R-ME), Gordon Smith (R-OR) and Ben Nelson (D-NE). This bill is essential to ensuring that Americans continue to receive safety net health services.

Last year, nearly all states imposed Medicaid cutbacks in some form to fill budget gaps or used up all of their special funds to prevent direct cuts in Medicaid eligibility or key services. The states' situation, however, has severely worsened. States currently face a budget shortfall of about $40-50 billion and are projecting that figure to rise to $60-70 billion next year. The vast majority of states expect to consider legislation to cut Medicaid eligibility, health services and payments to health care providers. States need immediate help to ensure that their citizens get the health care they need.

The legislation, S.138, offers help for states that maintain their Medicaid eligibility criteria by providing a $10 billion temporary increase in FMAP for all states for 18 months, including a "hold harmless" provision for states in which FMAPs would otherwise decline, and by adding $10 billion to the Title XX Social Service Block Grant.

We encourage your leadership on this important issue to support swift enactment of this legislation.

Sincerely,

Rick Pollack
Executive Vice President


This letter was sent to all members of the U.S. Senate
 

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