October 25, 2012
Vern K. Smith, PhD
Kathy D. Gifford
Medicaid spending increased during the 2012 fiscal year at the lowest rate since 2006, as a recovering economy reduced demand for the health care program for the poor and states enacted cost-cutting policies, according to a report issued by the Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation Thursday.
Medicaid spending by state and federal governments, which share the program’s costs, increased an average of 2 percent across the states and the District of Columbia during fiscal year 2012, which ended Sept. 30. That’s down from 9.7 percent the prior year and the second-lowest rate of growth since the Kaiser Family Foundation began surveying states in 1998.
Growth in the number of people signing up for Medicaid benefits also slowed from 4.4 percent in fiscal 2011 to 3.2 percent in fiscal 2012, the survey said. Enrollment had grown at a faster clip since 2007, when it dropped 0.5 percent.