Governors continue press for extra Medicaid funds as Senate takes up slimmed down provision

The bipartisan National Governors Association sent a letter on Tuesday to the leaders of both parties in the Senate and the chamber's finance committee reiterating state leaders' request for a six-month extension of enhanced federal Medicaid funding. The letter comes as the Senate gets ready to take up a tax extenders bill that includes enhanced Medicaid payments that phase down over the first two quarters of 2011, which falls short of what the governors are requesting.

"Although the nation's economy shows signs of improvement, states' fiscal condition continues to deteriorate," reads the letter. "Consequently, governors continue to support a two quarter extension of the enhanced [Medicaid payments] provided under the [recovery act] as the most efficient way to help states avoid further layoffs and service cuts that could otherwise slow recovery."