Medicaid is a health insurance program for low-income Americans funded jointly by states, territories, and the federal government,  but administered by the states. More than 50 million people are currently enrolled in Medicaid, making it one of the largest health plans in the United States.

As the program’s scope and enrollment has grown, so too has Medicaid’s share of state and federal budgets. Today, Medicaid accounts for approximately one out of every five health care dollars spent in the US, and costs are expected to grow by more than 7 percent annually over the next decade. This mounting fiscal pressure, combined with the lingering impact of the recent economic downturn, has spurred renewed interest in reforming Medicaid. 

The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA) contains specific provisions for expanding Medicaid to include a greater number of America’s uninsured. At the same time, state and federal governments are working to develop and refine key reform propositions, as are organizations such as the National Academy for State Health Policy, the National Conference of State Legislatures, and the National Governors Association.

The AAFP will continue to speak out on behalf of family physicians throughout the ongoing debate about Medicaid reform with the goal of preserving and strengthening a program upon which so many vulnerable Americans rely.

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