Rendell's FMAP Conference

Rendell joins other Governors in pushing Feds for Federal Medicaid Funds

Watch the news conference by clicking here.

Governor Rendell Joins Bipartisan Group of Governors to Urge Congress to Extend Federal Medicaid Assistance to States

Washington, D.C. – Pennsylvania Governor Edward G. Rendell and a bipartisan group of governors from across the nation today urged Congress to extend federal Medicaid assistance to states, warning that a failure to do so would bring dire economic and human consequences and lead to dramatic reductions in public services.

“The six-month extension of FMAP funding is vitally important to the people of America, to the services they receive, and to the economic recovery of this country,” said Governor Rendell. “Right now, the most important thing is the recovery. We’re starting to see real signs of hope, and this is not the time to stop our progress. We need Congress to act — and act now.”

The governors of Michigan, Washington, Maryland, Kansas, New York, Illinois, California, Colorado and Connecticut stood with Governor Rendell in Washington or participated via videoconference or telephone. Several other governors sent letters of support.

Up to 30 state budgets, proposed by both Republicans and Democrats, are relying on the extension of FMAP funds to avoid devastating cuts.

In Pennsylvania, Governor Rendell said the loss of FMAP funding would result in serious cutbacks in education and social services and also result in thousands of layoffs in those sectors, including job losses at the county and local levels. He said the following specific impacts were possible:

• State funds for schools would be cut by at least a quarter of a billion dollars, resulting in the layoffs of an estimated 7,300 teachers and 1,125 library employees. • Aid to colleges would be cut, resulting in the elimination of 550 faculty and support positions.

Social Services
• An estimated $350 million would need to be cut from safety-net services. • Reduced child welfare funding would leave thousands of children unprotected and eliminate at least 3,300 jobs across county and local governments.

• Services for more than 6,500 children with mental disabilities would be cut, as well as the jobs of more than 2,000 people who work with these children. • Reduced funding for community mental health services would eliminate services for over 57,000 consumers and mean the loss of 2,200 jobs. • Drug and alcohol services would also be cut significantly, eliminating services for more than 9,000 adults and teens in need of drug counseling and eliminating another several hundred jobs.

According to a recent report by the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, inaction by Congress “will force the states – which are struggling with an unprecedented drop in revenues due to the recession – to make even deeper spending cuts and raise taxes even more than otherwise in order to balance their budgets. These actions will slow the economic recovery and raise the risk of a double-dip recession as the loss of spending power ripples through the economy.”

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