Medicaid is one of the largest, most expensive public health insurance programs in the United States. It covered nearly 55 million low-income or disabled people in 2011, and cost $432 billion. Medicaid spending is expected to grow to $795 billion by 2021. Concerns over the program's spending at both the federal and state levels have led some policy-makers to urge reforms.
One proposal to limit spending includes placing a cap on the amount of federal spending per Medicaid beneficiary, but the proposal is a controversial one. Supporters contend that instituting a system of per capita caps would moderate the growth of federal spending on Medicaid. Critics, on the other hand, say that a per capita cap would only shift the costs to the states, which could ultimately limit many poor Americans' access to care.
This Health Policy Brief examines the issues surrounding per capita caps in Medicaid and other policy options, and was published online on April 18, 2013 in Health Affairs.
A three-time RWJF grantee leads a plan that will save billions in the nation’s largest Medicaid system—using tools in the Affordable Care Act and RWJF support.Read more
This report serves as a guide for states considering their own Medicaid expansion analysis. The report offers financial considerations related to a state’s decision to expand, including cost of newly eligibles, cost of currently eligible but not enrolled, administrative costs, and more.
Health Affairs/RWJF Health Policy Briefs
Series provides clear, accessible overviews of timely and important health policy topics. The briefs are geared to policy-makers, congressional staffers, and others who need short, jargon-free explanations of health policy basics.About the series
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