All 50 states cut or froze Medicaid payments to providers in 2004 and 47 will do so in 2005 amid budget constraints, according to a survey released by the Kaiser Commission on Medicaid and the Uninsured. Officials in 39 states said they expected state budget pressures to continue to increase in 2005, even as Medicaid enrollment grows -- by a projected 4.7% in 2005, following a 5.2% increase this year. Medicaid spending grew 9.5% in 2004, compared with a 3.4% growth in state tax revenue and an 11.2% increase in private health insurance premiums. Increased Medicaid enrollment, almost one-third higher since 2001, has helped offset a decline in private-sector insurance coverage. But 23 states made it more difficult to obtain and retain coverage for children and families between April 2003 and July 2004, according to a second survey released by the commission. Read the reports. -- by Tony Fong
Another year of Medicaid payment cuts: report
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