Governors are requesting $150 billion from the federal government in direct aid to help their states fight the COVID-19 public health emergency.
Since the outbreak began, governors have been leading the nation’s response to the outbreak of coronavirus and its potentially devastating impacts on the nation’s health care system.
In a letter to congressional leadership, National Governors Association chair, Republican Maryland Governor Larry Hogan, and vice-chair, Democratic New York Governor Andrew Cuomo, noted that states and territories have taken “significant and costly” steps to curb the spread of the coronavirus that causes COVID-19.
Gov. Kay Ivey of Alabama is a member of the governor’s association.
“Despite the uncertainty and rapidly-changing nature of this pandemic, governors are working tirelessly to ensure the health and safety of their residents. To meet this challenge, governors are asking for a new program that would provide unrestricted state fiscal support in addition to traditional funding streams,” Hogan and Cuomo wrote.
The governors are also requesting an increase in the federal share of Medicaid funding for states.
“Providing aid directly to states and territories gives governors the flexibility they need to try innovative approaches to protect a wide range of services such as: addressing the increase in unemployment, minimizing the economic impact of business closures, ensuring all students have access to education, meeting the child care and housing needs of residents, and maintaining public transportation and social welfare programs,” they wrote.
Governors also called on Congress to increase the federal share of Medicaid funding for states by adjusting the Federal Medical Assistance Percentage (FMAP) to levels seen during the economic recession in 2009.
They also urged Congress to eliminate the Medicaid Fiscal Accountability Rule.