State expects pinch after stimulus extension fails

Posted: Tuesday, June 29, 2010

JUNEAU - Alaska may have to come up with another $60 million to cover Medicaid costs after Congress failed to pass a hoped-for extension of benefits.

State budget director Karen Rehfeld said the budget for the fiscal year, beginning Thursday, was based on an extension. However, language was also included allowing for payments to continue with state funds if that didn't happen. She said the $60 million figure is "very preliminary."

The federal stimulus program enacted last year is set to expire in December. Congress was set to extend some funding to states through June 2011, including $16 billion for Medicaid, but that effort died in the Senate recently.

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