Most Medicaid Expense is for Elderly and Disabled

Today’s Managing Health Care Costs Indicator is 70%

Governors all over the country are slashing Medicaid  – which represents a larger and larger portion of state budgets.  This is one of the largest challenges to the effectiveness of the Affordable Care Act.   Medicaid is supposed to cover an additional 16 million in 2014, and many states are going in the opposite direction.

Here’s the challenge.   Seventy percent of all Medicaid spending is on the elderly and disabled.  55% of all Medicaid spending is on long term care facilities, and Medicaid pays for almost half of all nursing home care in the country.  This information all comes from the Kaiser Family Foundation Medicaid Resource Book . Table of contents  Financing chapter 

SO – while 75% of the population on Medicaid is kids or nondisabled adults (often young parents), only 30% of the dollars are spent on this group of enrollees, even including costs of pregnancy and delivery.   Slashing Medicaid won’t save that much money if the target of the cuts are the nonelderly nondisabled.

A few charts to make the point.  (Numbers from KFF references above with some calculations by me)