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Medicaid – what you need to know

You need to know basic stuff about Medicaid because:

  • Medicaid may well become the model for your health insurance
  • It covers more working-age people than any other payment type
  • Your state and federal tax dollars pay for Medicaid.

So, here are the basics.

  • Medicaid covers one out of five Americans.
  • Most Medicaid dollars go to the blind and disabled.
  • Medical care for poor adults accounts for a third of Medicaid spend
  • Poor kids use a fifth of Medicaid dollars
  • The rest is mostly for nursing home care for folks with very limited income or assets – in fact, Medicaid is the major payer for nursing home and similar medical care.
  • Medicaid expansion (covering people just above the poverty line) is now in place in 34 states (plus D.C.); 2 are implementing, and 3 more are considering expansion.

Lastly, my bet is we’ll have some form of Single Payer within the decade – and Medicaid will be the model.

2 thoughts on “Medicaid – what you need to know”

  1. Joe,

    What about the Healthcare Leadership Council that I wrote about last week? Won’t they pour money into fighting this also, as they already are with Medicare for All? And what about physicians who don’t take Medicaid now? Will they be forced to take this new model you are predicting will be single payer?

    1. Hello Richard
      re physician participation, I imagine it will be up to the docs and other providers if they want to participate. Most will because they’ll have to if they want to stay in business.

      Of course the healthcare industry will fight it. They won in 2003 with the balanced budget amendment, won in defeating VT’s Single Payer, and will likely win a few more battles. But they will lose the war

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Joe Paduda is the principal of Health Strategy Associates



A national consulting firm specializing in managed care for workers’ compensation, group health and auto, and health care cost containment. We serve insurers, employers and health care providers.



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