Lets start with the basics. There is a big bill moving through congress and a sizable chunk of that bill is targeted at reimbursing a fund that large majorities have supported before and our Governor favored and verbally supported the last two time it passed. But now he sits tightlipped and we wonder why he doesn’t speak up?
As we write this we read the bill just passed so here is the quick jist from ANCOR: The American Network of Community Options and Resources:
Senate Passes Jobs Bill with FMAP 62-36 and Sends to the House For Passage
The Senate today passed by a vote of 62 to 36 the American Workers, State, and Business Relief Act of 2010 (H.R. 4213), which includes an extension of the Recovery Act’s increased Federal match for state Medicaid programs. The passed bill extends the increased FMAP through June 30, 2011, which is estimated to provide states with an additional $25.5 billion in FMAP and an additional $1.2 billion in adjustments to help states with the Medicare Part D payments states are required to make to the federal government.
The bill will be sent to the House for passage as it passed a different jobs bill and with lower FMAP extension and adjustment in December. We will have the vote tally available in Thursday’s WIC”s live. We need to thank our friend in the Senate and move to pressing the House to move quickly on this legislation.
That FMAP part is the part we are talking about. It stands for Federal Medical Assistance Payments. That is the $25 billion dollar part that goes to fund the state Medicaid gap.
Medicaid presently costs the state twenty-five cents for every dollar in Medicaid disbursements, thanks to continued FMAP support under the stimulus package, but should FMAP fail to pass the state’s percentage would become thirty-three cents of each Medicaid dollar. That might sound paltry, but it represents hundreds of millions of dollars in impact to the state budget, a shortfall that would lead to fewer services and even more lay-offs for the state.
Not just the state. There would by huge private sector unemployment implications as hospitals, nursing homes, and doctor’s offices would be forced to lay-off workers. When we are already stuck in the doldrums of 10% unemployment in Indiana.
Daniels’ incomprehensible silence on such critical legislation to the Hoosier economy, which he loudly supported twice under stimulus legislation leaves him playing politics while the Once and Future Governor, Senator Evan Bayh works to pass FMAP and save the Governor’s bacon for him.
The Governor’s otrich impression may be dur to his recent intraparty squabble where he asked for a “truce on social issues” and was slapped down by the fundamentalists of his party:
Mitch Daniels cancels the truce
Washington Post op-ed columnist Michael Gerson talks to Gov. Mitch Daniels (R-Ind.) about his much-discussed “social truce” concept — something I thought described what conservatives were doing right now, but something that convinced the likes of Mike Huckabee that Daniels was tossing social conservatives into a landfill. Daniels clarifies:
“I would reinstate the Mexico City policy,” Indiana Gov. Mitch Daniels told me Wednesday, removing an uncertainty of his own creation. Promoting abortion with international family planning funds is one of “a thousand things we shouldn’t be spending money on.” …Daniels’s clarification on Mexico City shows his realism. But his continued insistence on the idea of a truce shows his stubbornness — a defining characteristic. “If there were a WMD attack, death would come to straights and gays, pro-life and pro-choice,” he told me. “If the country goes broke, it would ruin the American dream for everyone. We are in this together. Whatever our honest disagreements on other questions, might we set them aside long enough to do some very difficult things without which we will be a different, lesser country?”
In other words, his clever concept was alienating people whom he needed to take him seriously.
Or more likely it is his heeding of the Republican National Committee’s siren call to oppose anything this president is for no matter how critical to your constituents. And now he once again leaves his constituents’ economic well being in harm’s way in search of greater glory for himself as he mulls a run for RNC Chair or (gulp) The Presidency.
Given the rise in unemployment and early retirements the state of Indiana, there is an increased need upon this fund. For the last two years the Federal government as a part of the stimulus program has used something called FMAP