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Westerman Proposes Permanent Fix For Federal Highway Trust Fund

May 22, 2015
Press Release

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

WASHINGTON – Congressman Bruce Westerman (R-Hot Springs) on Thursday (May 21) introduced the Prioritizing American Roads and Jobs Act. The bill would add up to $15 billion per year to the Federal Highway Trust Fund while also paying down a portion of national debt each year.

To produce funding necessary to plug the hole in the Federal Highway Trust Fund, the bill would change Medicaid expansion match rates established under Obamacare and paid by the federal government from a current rate of 100 percent to traditional Medicaid match rates. In Arkansas, the traditional Medicaid federal match rate is 70 percent while the state picks up the remaining 30 percent. Nationally, the average is a 57 percent federal match rate and 43 percent picked up by states.

Medicaid expansion currently paid at 100 percent for able-bodied, working age adults has been adopted by 29 states and the District of Columbia, while all 50 states take part in traditional Medicaid at the average 57 percent federal match rate to benefit disabled, elderly, and others in need of medical coverage.

“Obamacare is complicated, but undoing an egregious flaw in the Medicaid expansion component of the law should not be,” Westerman said Friday. “The bill I introduced Thursday, the Prioritizing American Roads and Jobs Act of 2015, would free up more than $15 billion per year in mandatory spending that is going only to the three out of five states that expanded Medicaid. And estimates show this change could save $300 billion over 10 years. Roughly one-half could be used to build and fix roads in all 50 states while the rest could be used to reduce our national budget deficit.”

An editorial written by Congressman Westerman may be accessed here.

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