Congress just might come through on its promise to extend the enhanced Medicaid matching fund rate included in last year’s stimulus bill, which would save Illinois $750 million this fiscal year. Annie Lowrey is reporting that Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) tacked an amendment onto an unrelated Federal Aviation Administration bill last night that would provide state governments with $10 billion in funding for teachers’ jobs and $16.1 billion in funding for Medicaid assistance. Because of Republican obstructionism, however, Senate Democrats can't deficit spend anymore, which means the money to pay for those expenditures must come from some other program. Among the cuts Reid targeted is a $6.7 billion reduction in funding for the Supplemental Nutritional Assistance Program, otherwise known as food stamps.
During a horrific recession, lawmakers in Washington are stripping away food for the poor to save hospitals and patients. That's what the modern-day filibuster has wrought.