Healthcare is biggest expense for states, study finds

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States continue to spend more on healthcare than any other expenditure, a new report finds.

Healthcare accounted for one-third of total state spending in fiscal year 2007, according to the National Governors Association and the National Association of State Budget Officers, which recently released the Fiscal Survey of States report. Last year, healthcare also consumed the biggest chunk of budgets, making up 32% of total state spending. Overall healthcare spending is expected to grow at 8% a year over the next decade, the two groups found.

Medicaid comprises 22% of total state spending - the same as last year, the report found. Medicaid, a state-federal program, pays for nearly half of all long-term care costs in the United States.

To see the report, go to