With unemployment increasing, state budgets are being hit with a double whammy: increasing costs for Medicaid but a decreasing tax base to pay for the benefits.
So when President-elect Obama asked the governors for their advice on what needs the most immediate intervention to help stabilize the economy, one of their first suggestions was for the federal government to invest more in Medicaid and other federal-state programs.
And the governors are almost certainly right in asking for Medicaid help now, because the numbers show that the biggest impact on Medicaid comes in the year after a recession ends. So even if the recession were to end tomorrow (and we can only hope), this would be a good investment for the federal government to make.
To learn more about the governors' suggestions:
- read this Healthcare Finance News piece