Study: Medicaid LTC spending to keep pace over next 40 years

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Medicaid long-term care spending as a share of overall health spending is not likely to increase significantly over the next 40 years, according to a new study.

While more elderly people likely will need long-term care in the future, spending on nursing homes and home health is projected to keep pace with the rate of growth of wages (which grow far slower than healthcare spending), according to a new study by the Kaiser Family Foundation's Commission on Medicaid and the Uninsured.

The study actually projects a less dire situation for the Medicaid program than many assume. In fact, expected growth in government revenues is likely to be large enough to sustain Medicaid spending increases over the next 40 years, according to the study's authors, Richard Kronick of the University of California, San Diego, and David Rousseau of Kaiser.

The study is published by the journal Health Affairs and available online at http://www.kaisernetwork.org/healthcast/healthaffairs/23feb07.