States spend more on Medicaid than expected so far this fiscal year, Kaiser report finds

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States using Medicaid stimulus funding to fill budget gaps, report finds
States using Medicaid stimulus funding to fill budget gaps, report finds

The economic downturn has negatively affected nearly every state budget and Medicaid program, according to a new report from the Kaiser Commission on Medicaid and the Uninsured.

A total of 44 states and the District of Columbia reported that program enrollment and spending trends are above the levels projected at the beginning of the 2010 fiscal year, the report said. A majority of states are facing the prospect of mid-fiscal year 2010 program cutbacks to balance their budgets. Severe challenges are expected to persist next year as the federal medical assistance percentage (FMAP) is scheduled to end on Dec. 31, 2010.

Still another Kaiser report found that national Medicaid enrollment grew from June 2008 to June 2009 at a level not seen since the early days of the program's implementation in the late 1960s. Enrollment increased by 3.28 million in 2009, a 7.5% increase from the year earlier. Children accounted for most of the growth in enrollment.