Medicaid Spending Growth Dropped This Year

A new report notes that this year’s Medicaid spending growth slowed to 2 percent, in what health policy analysts are praising as a sign that national Medicaid costs are coming under control as the economy continues to stabilize. In 2011, Medicaid spending rose to 10 percent. The current drop is partially driven by the past three consecutive years of slowing enrollment numbers in the program, as well as state-level efforts to rein in costs. Vernon Smith, one of the authors of the study, noted that this represents the second slowest growth in the history of the Medicaid program. “States are working very hard to improve value and slow the rate of growth of Medicaid,” he said, and the health care reform law will continue to encourage them to do so.