Medicaid covered about 68 million people in 2010, while federal and state expenditures for the program were $406 billion and accounted for 8.1% of total federal outlays, according to the first report from the Medicaid and CHIP Payment and Access Commission, or MACPAC.
MACPAC issues first report
The Children's Health Insurance Program Reauthorization Act of 2009 established MACPAC, which is the first non-partisan congressional-support agency that focuses entirely on issues affecting Medicaid and the State Children's Health Insurance Program, or CHIP. In its report, the commission provided an overview of the program; examined factors for accessing access to care, evaluating payment policies and identifying data sources for policy analysis; and introduced statistics known as “MACStats,” which is a standing supplement to be include in all of the commission's reports.
This first report found that Medicaid expenditures account for about one-third of all nursing home expenditures; more than one-third of all home healthcare expenditures; and one-quarter of all mental health and substance abuse treatment spending. Meanwhile, the report said the CHIP program covers about 8 million children, of whom about 90% have family incomes below 200% of the federal poverty level, and that federal and state expenditures for CHIP last year totaled $11 billion.
“This report contains a lot of important information, particularly the section called “MAC Stats,” Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa), former ranking member on the Senate Finance Committee, said in a news release. “For years Congress has made Medicaid policy without the kind of detailed information to inform policy decisions that we received on the Medicare program through MedPAC,” he added, referring to the Medicare Payment Advisory Commission.“It's valuable and appropriate that we now have high-quality, unbiased information on a program that covers more people and will spend even more money than Medicare.”
Also on Tuesday, MedPAC released its annual report to Congress.
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