- Two men seriously hurt in crash near Fruitland (9/21/16)3
- Perryville man arrested for alleged patronizing prostitution, harassment (9/23/16)6
- Video and evidence largely confirm trooper's claims in April traffic stop shooting (9/23/16)7
- Cape man may lose eye after shovel beating, police say (9/25/16)2
- Funeral procession of former Cape Girardeau police chief Henry H. Gerecke (9/22/16)17
- Cape man accused of attacking pregnant girlfriend (9/22/16)
- Driver charged with manslaughter in crash that killed 2 (9/27/16)
- Show Me Center upgrades may allow facility to draw more elaborate shows (9/21/16)17
- Man convicted of Perryville convenience-store heist (9/21/16)
- Planning, design puts renovations of H-H building into hotel on hold (9/26/16)4
Medicaid growth expected to strain state, federal budgets
WASHINGTON -- Medicaid's growing strain on federal and state budgets is unlikely to abate over the coming decade as the cost of providing health care to the poor is expected to increase 7.9 percent annually, government actuaries reported Friday.
Each year, trustees for the nation's Medicare and Social Security programs update the public on the financial health of the two entitlement programs. Now, federal officials are trying to set a similar precedent for Medicaid -- which serves about 50 million people. Actuaries for the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services released their first report Friday on the program's past trends and outlook.
Actuaries said the cost increases they expect in the coming decade are not unique to Medicaid. Costs for every form of health coverage have increased rapidly and reflect new, better and more complex services as well as wage inflation in the medical sector. While Medicaid will grow at a 7.9 percent rate, the overall economy during the next 10 years is projected to grow at a rate of 4.8 percent.
Health and Human Services Secretary Mike Leavitt said the analysis was a reminder Medicaid spending is on an unsustainable path.
"If nothing is done to rein in these costs, access to health care for the nation's most vulnerable citizens could be threatened," Leavitt said.
Medicaid is a federal-state partnership. The program cost $333.2 billion in the fiscal year ending Sept. 30, 2007, with the federal government paying about 57 percent of that tab and states the remainder.
Actuaries said the growth rate for the coming decade does not reflect the current economic woes the country is facing. Medicaid rolls tend to increase when the economy struggles. About half of enrollees are children, who got an estimated $2,435 worth of benefits, while adults obtained $3,586 in benefits. Expenses are substantially greater for the disabled and elderly -- more than $14,000 per person.