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Letter to the House supporting temporary increase in federal share of Medicaid payments (H.R. 5268)

April 09, 2008

Dear Representative:


On behalf of the National Education Association's (NEA) 3.2 million members, we urge you to support and become a cosponsor of H.R. 5268, introduced by Representatives Frank Pallone, Jr. (D-NJ), Peter King (R-NY), John Dingell, (D-MI), and Thomas Reynolds (R-NY). 

This bipartisan bill would temporarily increase federal Medicaid payments to the states, thereby ensuring continued provision of healthcare to low-income children and families, and children with disabilities. It could also help forestall cutbacks precipitated by deteriorating economic conditions and the consequent drop in state and local revenues available for public education and other essential services.

Medicaid is the single largest component of state spending -- nearly one-fifth of general fund expenditures. Unlike the federal government, states must balance their budgets. Consequently, when declining revenues lead to budgetary shortfalls, they must pare even undeniably essential services such as education and healthcare. By the end of this fiscal year, more than half the states will be in the red and contemplating such cuts.       

This important legislation provides temporary, targeted and timely state fiscal relief. We urge you to support and cosponsor H.R. 5268, so the most vulnerable among us can continue to receive healthcare and other essential services in these trying economic times.

Sincerely,

Diane Shust, Director of Government Relations

Randall Moody, Manager of Federal Advocacy