KHN Morning Briefing

Summaries of health policy coverage from major news organizations.

Recession Drives Medicaid Spending

Job losses and diminishing income have pushed Medicaid spending to new heights, according to a study released Friday.

Reuters: Fewer Jobs Means More Spending On U.S. Medicaid
Millions of people turned to the Medicaid health insurance program for the poor during the 2007-2009 recession as families coped with job losses and drastic drops in income, pushing Medicaid spending up by an average of 6.6 percent per year, according to a study released on Friday. The study by the nonprofit Kaiser Foundation found that state and federal spending on the program, which states administer with partial reimbursements from the U.S. government, grew to $400 billion in 2010 from $330 billion in 2007 (5/4).

Meanwhile, it's not just Medicaid that is facing spiraling costs -

Stateline: High Health Care Spending Seen Driven by Price
The rising cost of health care has plagued state Medicaid programs for decades, with the federal-state health plan for low-income patients now claiming more than a quarter of state budgets. But Medicaid is not the only health plan struggling to keep up with spiraling costs. When private and public health care spending is combined, the U.S. health care bill is bigger than that of any other industrialized nation, while the quality of care is no better (Vestal, 5/7). 

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