Washington Independent: Boxer, Governors Urge Republicans to Vote for Funds for Medicaid, Teachers

On a call with reporters this afternoon, Sen. Barbara Boxer (D-Calif.), Gov. Ed Rendell (D-Pa.) and Gov. Bill Ritter (D-Colo.) urged their Republican colleagues to vote for a $26.1 billion state-aid package.

The bill will come up for a cloture vote — meaning it needs 60 votes to move forward — tomorrow. It is fully offset, meaning it does not add to the deficit. And it will provide much-needed and promised dollars to states to keep teachers on the job and to provide funds for Medicaid.

Without the bill, states would be forced to lay off tens of thousands of workers in the next few months. States will cut firefighters, services for the elderly and services for the disabled, Boxer said. Patients using Medicaid will pay higher co-pays. Fewer doctors will accept Medicaid patients, eventually increasing emergency-room use.

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