UJC wants Medicaid boost in stimulus


United Jewish Communities called on Congress to include a temporary increase in Medicaid funding in a stimulus package.

“We urge you to include a temporary increase in the Federal Medical Assistance Percentage (FMAP) for the Medicaid program as part of Congress’ economic stimulus package that is being developed to respond to the economic downturn,” said the letter sent last week by the federations’ umbrella to every member of the U.S. Senate and House of Representatives.

Medicaid, the insurance program for the poor, is a probable target for cuts by states hit by the downturn, the letter said. “A temporary increase in the FMAP would benefit each state immediately,” the letter said. “This kind of fiscal relief is one of the best ways to help avert painful state budget cuts and tax increases.”

Jewish communities tap into Medicaid for social services administered to poor Jews and non-Jews. Congressional leaders and President Bush are negotiating a bipartisan stimulus package.

William Daroff, the UJC Washington director, said in an interview that Bush showed “great leadership” in 2003-2004 by including FMAP increases in economic spurs.

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