State revenue increased at a faster pace than total federal-state Medicaid spending for the first time since 1998, thanks to an improved economy and increased Medicare responsibility for prescription-drug costs under the new Part D program. That's according to a survey by the Kaiser Commission on Medicaid and the Uninsured. Total state tax revenue grew 3.7% in fiscal 2006, while total federal-state Medicaid spending climbed 2.8%, the commission said in a report on the survey. Medicaid enrollment was up 1.6%, about half of what officials had predicted. It was the lowest rate of total Medicaid spending growth in a decade and the fourth consecutive year of slower growth. By comparison, in fiscal 2005, total Medicaid spending rose 6.3%. Growth in states' share of Medicaid costs slowed to 6.8% in fiscal 2006, from 11.2% growth in fiscal 2005. Read the report. -- by Matthew DoBias
Medicaid picture brightened in 2006
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