The American Association of Homes and Services for the Aging (AAHSA) applauds the Senate's passage of legislation to extend the temporary increase in federal Medicaid funding through June 30, 2011.

The increased funding now is set to expire as of December 31, 2010. Many states still are feeling the effects of recession. A premature end to the increased Medicaid funding would jeopardize services to many elders whose long-term services and supports are covered by the program.

The measure passed by the Senatewould phase out the increased funding more slowly, giving states the opportunity to rebuild their budgets and ensure that coverage of long-term services and supports does not have to be cut back.

"Over the short term, Congress could not have done anything more important to stabilize long-term services and supports, reinforce the caregivers that deliver them, and keep the economic recovery on the right path than the Medicaid decision," said Larry Minnix, AAHSA president and CEO. "This is huge and greatly appreciated.

"We're especially grateful to our members who contacted their senators and urged them to do the right thing in a bipartisan manner."

We are pleased that the House will return next week to vote on the measure, and we urge all House members to support it.