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Medicaid: State Programs After Two Years

1 min readBy: TF Staff

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Research Publication No. 15

While considerable national attention was focused on the debate and issues associated with the enactment of Medicare in 1965, there quietly emerged a companion program—Medicaid or “Title 19″—potentially far more extensive than Medicare. Whereas Medicare was to serve the elderly, official estimates indicated that some 35 million persons of all ages would eventually become eligible for free, comprehensive medical care under Medicaid. Reacting to widespread criticism of defects in the Medicaid program in some states,’ Congress in 1967 cut back the extent of Federal support for Medicaid and made other revisions. There remains, however, substantial scope for program expansion in the majority of the states.

Medicaid programs have been operating in over half the states for a year or more and in some for two years. Even though the programs are still in their infancy, they have led to a doubling of medical welfare costs in a period of less than two years.

This study, based on a state-by-state survey, examines the experiences of the states with their initial Medicaid programs. It reviews the nature of the programs the states have chosen to set up—who is eligible, for how much and what kind of medical care, and at what costs. The fiscal effects for both state and local units are explored, as well as administrative and operating problems associated with the programs.

Elsie A Watters, Director of State-Local Research, was primarily responsible for the direction and preparation of this study.