Medicaid for State Policymakers

Source: National Conference of State Legislatures (NCSL), March 1, 2017

Over its 50-year history, Medicaid has represented a critical and evolving issue for state policymakers, who care about Medicaid for many reasons.

– Medicaid provides health insurance for low-income people who have complex needs and require expensive care. Approximately 70 million—or one in five Americans— received health and long-term care coverage through Medicaid in 2015, making it the largest source of coverage for low-income individuals, including pregnant women, children, adults and people with disabilities and low-income seniors who are also covered by Medicare.

– The program is a federal-state partnership, and both the federal government and the states play important roles in ensuring that Medicaid is fiscally sustainable over time and effective in meeting the needs of the populations it serves.

– In 2016, Medicaid accounted for 21.5 percent of total expenditures from state general funds. Across the nation, state spending on Medicaid totaled $509 billion in 2015, of which 62 percent was financed by the federal government and 38 percent by states. ….