U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) Secretary Kathleen Sebelius announced that states are able to claim enhanced funds for Medicare Part D drug payments. This should allow California to get $680 million additional money from the federal government.
This decision could mean an additional $160 million more if the enhanced Medicaid match–which the states get through December 2010 due to the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act–is extended by Congress for an extra six months. The House has passed such an extension in both its health reform bill and its jobs bill as well.
After some unfair and harsh statements, Governor Schwarzenegger struck an appreciative tone: “Today’s announcement shows that our bipartisan efforts for a more fair and equitable relationship with the federal government are paying off. Together, state legislative leaders and our Congressional delegation, especially Senators Feinstein and Boxer, have been working to bring California more of the federal dollars we are owed. These funds are important, and while we still have more work to do, I appreciate the commitment of the Obama Administration in responding to our requests for these much-needed funds that are owed to our state.”
This doesn’t solve our state budget crisis, but it certainly helps.