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Why must Congress extend the increased federal Medicaid payments enacted in the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act?

The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act increased federal Medicaid payments to states, resulting in what experts have called an “effective strategy for preventing job loss and spurring economic growth.” An extension of the payments would protect our most vulnerable citizens from losing Medicaid. As the implementation of healthcare remains a few years down the road, extension becomes a way to help hard-working Americans through a time of transition.   

While this simple action can improve the standard of living for millions of Americans, an extension would also be tremendously helpful to state governments. Alleviating the burden of Medicaid payments would allow states to put money into important underfunded areas like education.