Report: Much of Medicaid's optional spending goes to elderly, disabled

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As much as 86% of all optional spending in the Medicaid program is for the elderly and people with disabilities, according to a new report by the Kaiser Commission on Medicaid and the Uninsured.

Although Medicaid's optional populations account for 29% of the program's enrollment, 60% of all Medicaid spending (for mandatory and optional populations) is considered optional, according to the report entitled Medicaid Enrollment and Spending by "Mandatory" and "Optional" Eligibility and Benefit Categories.

The report, which is aimed at providing an understanding of how proposals for Medicaid reform would affect the various populations and services, offers complete estimates of the proportion of Medicaid beneficiaries and spending that is mandatory and optional.

The full report can be viewed at: http://www.kff.org/medicaid/7332.cfm