Study: States spend less on Medicaid than previously thought

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Medicaid actually takes a smaller bite out of state budgets than is often cited, a new study finds.

States spend, on average, about 18% of their budgets on the Medicaid program, according a recent study from the Georgetown University Center for Children and Families. States often report a 23% figure. Quite often the 23% share of the budgets actually includes both state and federal contributions. Medicaid pays for nearly half of long-term care in the United States.

The study also found that in 2005 more than 9% of state funding for Medicaid came from sources such as gas taxes and tobacco settlement funds that were specifically meant to pay for healthcare programs.