Briefs & Reports

Washington Post: Medicaid spending is slowing. Yes, really.

Vern K. Smith, PhD
Kathy D. Gifford
Eileen Ellis

The Kaiser Family Foundation surveyed all states on their Medicaid spending this year. The biggest takeaway might surprise you: Medicaid spending growth hit a “near-record low” in 2012, with similar trends expected in 2013.

That’s good news for the federal budget. The entitlement program is growing more slowly than we expected at the start of this fiscal year. At the same time, that could be bad news for the program. Some of the spending slowdown has to do with states reducing how much they pay doctors, which could make providers less likely to accept new patients.

First, the positive budget impact: “That was slightly less,” the Kaiser analysts note, “than the original legislative appropriations of 2.2 percent” growth set at the start of this fiscal year.

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