Kaiser Health News, August 4, 2010

A Senate effort to extend federal help to states struggling with swelling Medicaid rolls hit a road block this week when a crucial vote to move the measure forward was delayed until at least today. Senate Democratic leaders face an uphill battle in collecting votes and finding ways to pay for the $16 billion Medicaid proposal, which is coupled with an additional $10 billion in aid to preserve teaching jobs. Those difficulties were further complicated when the Congressional Budget Office estimated that spending cuts in the bill were $5 billion short. Even if the Senate managed to pass the Medicaid assistance this week, the House -- which has already begun its August break -- is not likely to return until mid-September, leaving states grappling with budgetary uncertainties.



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