One of the most successful -- and virtually unheralded -- provisions of the federal stimulus package is the increased federal match rate for Medicaid funding. Thanks to the recovery act, the feds now cover 61.88 percent of Illinois' Medicaid spending, up from the normal rate of 50.32 percent. That's allowed the state to provide insurance to a growing number of poor residents without blasting even larger holes in the state budget. But after 2010, the rate will return to the lower level. Sen. Jay Rockefeller (D-WV) is now proposing the Senate jobs bill include an extension of the enhanced rate. However, some of his colleagues argue that such a provision would not directly create jobs. That's short-sighted. Pushing the cost back onto the states, with enrollment ballooning, could limit contracting and force more layoffs in state government. If lawmakers were to limit eligibility instead, it could also have a nasty ripple effect, especially for health providers that rely on Medicaid reimbursements for their livelihood. Check out our post from last week for more on the issue.