Medicaid: The Snag in Obamacare Repeal

One of the big concerns of Republican holdouts in Senate legislation to repeal and replace Obamacare is Medicaid. Many rural and low-income Americans depend on the program. But Medicaid is a huge expense; it’s the feds’ fourth largest outlay, behind only Defense, Social Security, and Medicare. But more than that, Medicaid’s growth rate is also cause for concern. At the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS), the fact sheet for national health expenditure (NHE) lists data for 2015 that helps us put Medicaid costs into context. The first fact is that total national healthcare spending was $3.2T in 2015, about the same as all federal revenue. The second fun fact is that Medicaid spending was $545.1B, and its rate of growth was 9.7 percent, which was significantly faster than the other major components of national healthcare. Medicaid, however, is a federal-state program. Another report from the CMS, the “2016 Actuarial Report on the Financial...(Read Full Article)