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More State Perspectives

The economic crisis has taken a heavy toll on state revenues, and as a result many Medicaid programs faced significant shortfalls. This proved extremely problematic, as recessions are precisely when Americans need help from pubic sources the most. The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) attempted to close the gaps in states in order to avoid program and benefit cuts with almost $90B in federal aid through 2010.

The Kaiser Family Foundation Commission on Medicaid and the Uninsured released their annual 50-state survey today, which highlights the use of ARRA funds as well as areas around the country where the recession has hit Medicaid the hardest. Read the fact sheet here and peruse the full report here.

This chart shows the relative distribution of use for ARRA funds in terms of Medicaid enhancement

The second chart shows the growth in spending and enrollment, where total beneficiaries increased nearly 5.5%

In other news, Senator Tom Carper (D-NY) has hinted at the idea of giving states the option to create a public plan, co-op or large purchasing pool modeled after the FEHBP (Congress’s insurance) to compete with private insurers. A member of the Finance Committee, Carper has stated that he won’t issue the idea as an amendment in the Committee but it could prove to be a viable option on the Senate floor, possibly pleasing Republicans as a ‘federalist’ approach.