The dumb design of Medicaid
In a recession, two things happen to Medicaid. First, Americans become a lot poorer, so more of them need the program's help:
The recession has fueled the greatest influx of Americans onto Medicaid since the earliest days of the public insurance program for the poor, according to new findings that show caseloads have surged in every state.
More than 3 million people joined Medicaid in the year that ended in June, the data released Thursday show. That pushed enrollment to a record 46.8 million, exacerbating the financial strains on already burdened states and complicating the federal politics of health care.
But because Medicaid is partially funded by the states, and states lose revenue during a recession (and can't smooth it out with deficit spending), they have to cut Medicaid to keep their budgets in balance.
Facing relentless fiscal pressure and exploding demand for government health care, virtually every state is making or considering substantial cuts in Medicaid.
The structure of Medicaid is such that at the exact moment when the program needs to expand, state budgets force it to contract. Right now, the federal government is standing between those forces. The stimulus pumped tens of billions into Medicaid and is scheduled to continue supporting the program till the end of the year. But barring an extension of that aid, come 2011, the need will still be great, state revenues will still be low, and the federal government will no longer be standing in the middle. The result will be either a lot of pain for the people who need help or an impossible expense for states that are already making deep cuts.
Posted by: bgmma50 | February 19, 2010 3:32 PM | Report abuse
Posted by: FastEddieO007 | February 19, 2010 3:59 PM | Report abuse
Posted by: FastEddieO007 | February 19, 2010 4:06 PM | Report abuse
Posted by: ATLGuy | February 19, 2010 4:24 PM | Report abuse
Posted by: FastEddieO007 | February 19, 2010 4:31 PM | Report abuse
Posted by: mbp3 | February 19, 2010 5:04 PM | Report abuse
Posted by: mbp3 | February 19, 2010 5:07 PM | Report abuse
Posted by: Athena_news | February 19, 2010 5:24 PM | Report abuse
Posted by: rhall1 | February 19, 2010 6:03 PM | Report abuse
Posted by: Lomillialor | February 19, 2010 10:00 PM | Report abuse
Posted by: Patrick_M | February 20, 2010 11:47 AM | Report abuse
Posted by: chazbet | February 22, 2010 6:35 PM | Report abuse
The comments to this entry are closed.