Medicaid Numbers Don’t Add Up

This is from a Wall Street Journal editorial:

Currently, the federal government pays about 57 cents out of every dollar the states spend on Medicaid, though the “matching rate” ranges as high as 76% in some states. That would rise to 95% [under the Baucus bill] —but only for five years. After that, who knows? It all depends on which budget Congress ends up ruining. Either the states will be slammed, or Washington will extend these extra payments into perpetuity—despite the fact that CBO expects purely federal spending on Medicaid to consume 5% of GDP by 2035 under current law.

Comments (4)

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  1. Charlie says:

    Gotta love scoring games. I guess we should start getting ready for the outrage over the health care “cuts” when somebody decides to make a grown up decision to stop throwing money at a broken system.

  2. Devon Herrick says:

    Most states try to maximize federal Medicaid funds as a way to expand coverage to their low-come population. But that just shifts costs to taxpayers. There really is no free lunch. The money for huge public subsidies has to come from somewhere.

    It would be better for the federal government to give states a block grant based on their poverty distribution. Then, for instance, if New York taxpayers are willing to bear the full marginal cost of a $50 billion per year Medicaid program, then that’s their prerogative. However, the current system encourages wasteful spending and outsourcing a local problem to taxpayers hundreds, if not thousands of miles away.

  3. Neil H. says:

    Obviously this is budget gimmickery.

  4. Connie says:

    I am outraged at the abolish Medicare and increase Medicaid comments!!!! I work in a healthcare facility where we see both Medicare and Medicaid patients. Most of our Medicare are not WEALTHY as once suggested they are living from day to day. What most Americans don’t know is that Medicaid pays 100% of all pregnancies plus adds financial aid to each child. Many are not legal citizens! We are supporting healthcare for pregnancies instead of supporting a plan to stop this situation. On average they do not have respect for the benefits they pay nothing for, they have no respect for the healthcare provider and often fail to show for their appointments holding a place for a PAYING person. We now live in a time where most elder folks have trouble buying their meds while Medicaid recipients pay $1 for their medications. Where is the justice in all of this????? Will someone please hear the frustrations of the Middle class people who are carrying this Nation!!!!! It may not end until the wealthy start being affected by all of this. Right now they are benefiting!!!!!! while we are paying for all of it!!!!! SOMEONE PLEAE WAKE UP!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!