S.C.R. NO.














URGING CONGRESS TO SUPPORT the president's PROPOSED economic stimulus initiative increasing federal support for the medicaid program.



     WHEREAS, a majority of states, including Hawaii, are facing a shortfall in their fiscal year 2009 budgets, forcing the states to cut back on education, health care, and law enforcement expenditures; and


     WHEREAS, during times of economic hardship, the most efficient way the federal government can assist states in need is to fund countercyclical programs, which are programs that are forced to expand to cover more people when weak economic times lead more individuals to be eligible for the programs; and


     WHEREAS, the federal government can further best assist states by investing in existing state-federal programs because the programs are ongoing, and administrative procedures and staffs exist to quickly distribute additional funds; and


     WHEREAS, Medicaid is an existing federal-state countercyclical program that provides federal funds for essential medical services to families in need; and


     WHEREAS, the Federal Medical Assistance Percentage (FMAP) represents the total share of Medicaid expenditures the federal government pays based on a state's per capita income, thereby determining the state's level of contribution; and


     WHEREAS, President Obama has called for a stimulus package, which will include an increase in the FMAP for all states and additional increases for states suffering from high unemployment rates, thereby reducing states' shares of Medicaid costs; and


     WHEREAS, an increased FMAP is most effective if implemented at the onset of an economic downturn and for a period of time that allows states to meet anticipated increases in Medicaid costs for the duration of the economic downturn; and


     WHEREAS, the National Governors Association and the National Conference of State Legislatures support the President's proposed stimulus package including an increased FMAP for all states and additional relief based on states' unemployment rates; now, therefore,


     BE IT RESOLVED by the Senate of the Twenty-fifth Legislature of the State of Hawaii, Regular Session of 2009, the House of Representatives concurring, that the Legislature urges the United States Congress to support the President's proposed economic stimulus package, including an increase in Federal Medical Assistance Percentages, and expedite its passage; and


     BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that certified copies of this Concurrent Resolution be transmitted to the President of the United States Senate, the Majority and Minority Leaders of the United States House of Representatives, the Speaker of the United States House of Representatives, the Majority and Minority Leaders of the United States House of Representatives, and members of Hawaii's congressional delegation.









Report Title: 

Federal Medical Assistance Percentage; Proposed Economic Stimulus Package; Congressional Support