KHN Morning Briefing

Summaries of health policy coverage from major news organizations.

Growth In Medicaid Slows

A new report shows that improvement in the economy helped curb enrollment in the health care program for low-income people.

The New York Times: Spending On Medicaid Has Slowed, Survey Finds
The annual growth in spending on Medicaid slowed sharply last year as the economy began to improve, a survey by the Kaiser Family Foundation found. Enrollment in the program grew only modestly as well, but that may change as millions of people are due to become eligible in 2014 under the new national health care law (Goodnough, 10/25).

Bloomberg: Medicaid Spending Growth Slows As U.S. Economy Improves
Spending on Medicaid, the U.S. health insurance program for the poor, grew at its slowest rate since 2006 in a signal the economy is improving, according to a survey by the Kaiser Family Foundation. Spending on the program, which is run by states and funded largely by the federal government, rose 2 percent in the year ended Sept. 30, compared with 9.7 percent growth in fiscal 2011, the Menlo Park, California-based nonprofit research group said today in a report. Along with help from economic improvements, 48 states implemented at least one new policy to slow spending, such as cutting payments to health-care providers, Kaiser said (Wayne, 10/25).

CQ HealthBeat: Improved Economy Eases Pressure On Medicaid
Lower-than-expected Medicaid enrollment growth led to an almost-record low in annual spending growth in the program in fiscal 2012, according to an annual Kaiser Family Foundation survey of 50 states released Thursday. Medicaid spending in fiscal 2012, which ended June 30 in many states, grew by only 2 percent on average, which was slightly less than legislators expected. The main reason for the better-than-anticipated growth rates is that the economy improved and fewer people enrolled in the federal-state program. Enrollment grew by 3.2 percent, which the report noted was the lowest growth rate since the early days of the recession in 2008 (Adams, 10/25).

Related KHN Coverage: Medicaid Spending Growth Drops As Enrollment Slows

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