CHA News Article

Report Examines 50 Years of Medicaid
Discusses evolution, impact and future of program

The Kaiser Family Foundation has released a report that traces the Medicaid program’s evolution since it was signed into law in 1965. Titled Medicaid at 50, the report discusses the major legislative changes and other inflection points in the program’s history, Medicaid coverage for the main populations served by the program, delivery systems and innovation in Medicaid, and the program’s role in health care financing. The report also covers key issues that will concern the Medicaid program in the decades ahead, such as inequities and gaps in coverage due to state flexibility, ensuring adequate financing, Medicaid’s role as the main payor for institutional and community-based long-term services and supports, and continued Medicaid innovation in the delivery of care.

According to the report, “Medicaid’s evolution has involved significant challenges stemming from many causes – its roots in welfare; its federal-state structure; spending pressures generated by economic recessions, legislated expansions, and health care cost inflation; and deep-running ideological conflicts. But by virtue of its federal-state design and its financing structure, Medicaid has been able to respond to diverse and changing societal needs over the course of 50 years.”

The full report is available on the Kaiser Family Foundation website.