FMAP money still stalled in the senate

Posted by Jeremy Shulkin

The $420 million supplemental FMAP money (that’s money handed down by the feds’ stimulus bill to pay for medicaid costs) is still held up in the Senate, after finally working its way past Karyn Polito’s one-woman hold up in the House of Representatives late last week.

Coverage of the issue revolved around her sit in, and once-passed, focused on senate Republicans similarly decrying the new “spending.”

But, as we keep trying to explain, this money has already been factored into the state’s 2011 budget — essentially already promised to people, places, programs.

There has been more outcry because of Senator Stephen Brewer’s additional amendment (D-Barre), which would require health insurance carriers to pay ambulance services directly for hospital trips rather than billing policy holders, hoping that would cut down on insurance companies overcharging for the service. Word is that insurers are none too pleased.

In any event, no resolution seems close. The senate will meet again on Thursday, but our source says we might see another Polito-esq move. After seeing how much positive press Polito got from her boycott, Sen. Richard Tisei — the minority leader and candidate for Lt. Governor — might see it as an easy way for him to grab some publicity too.

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