Because Congress has failed to extend federal Medicaid assistance funds, Georgia Gov. Sonny Perdue last week ordered most state agencies to cut their budgets by 4%. Only the budget supporting K-12 schools was exempt from the cuts.

When many state budgets were approved this year, lawmakers believed Washington would come through with additional stimulus funding to support their Medicaid programs, which provide the indigent and disabled with health care. They counted on the funding but so far Congress hasn’t acted largely out of concern about the federal debt.

The Georgia General Assembly counted on receiving an extra $375 million for Medicaid from the federal stimulus program when it approved a $38.5 billion budget for fiscal 2011, which went into effect July 1.

But the additional cuts ordered by Perdue are expected to save the triple-A rated state $25.5 million a month and avoid more drastic cuts in January, according to the Atlanta Journal Constitution.

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