Is Medicaid Really That Important?


Medicaid began in 1965 under the Social Security ACT under Title XIX. But … Is Medicaid Really That Important?

Harry Truman initiated the idea of a national health insurance plan in 1945.  Many worried about a “socialized health care” transformation and it wasn’t until 1965 that President Lyndon Johnson signed this plan into law.  Medicaid was initiated along with Medicare.

The purpose initially was to help families who would be classified as “low income“.  These families would get help with their health care. the plan would typically cover hospital visits, doctor’s visits, medications , prenatal care, and other necessary treatments.

Other possible eligible individuals that could qualify would include:  foster children, adopted children, certain protected individuals, disabled individuals, and other pregnant or underage children.

Children who are U.S citizens are eligible even if the parents are not.

Medicaid is the largest resource of federal money that is spent on HIV/AIDS. Qualification to this program depends on T-cell count of less than 200 before qualification is often granted.


The area that is quickly becoming over-saturated with medicaid needs deals with nursing home residents. As the shift continues towards a larger portion of individuals who require this type of care, an increased strain will be seen on this program

The individuals applying for this program may have a small amount of insurance, however the insurance does not adequately cover the family or more commonly, no medical insurance at all.

This is a very expensive program and is often the second most funded program in each state behind education. It is believed that each states spends between 15% and 22% of their budget on medicaid alone.

Medicaid is funded by a joint governing body of federal and state programs.

The United States appears to have always placed some importance in the health care of the lower income status.  It is administered by each states and guidelines may be subjective from each state.

medicaid patient

Some 50+ million people take advantage of this program with some $200 billion or more spent on it annually.

Participation on a state level is strictly voluntary, but all states have been a party to this program since 1982

*** The concerning aspect of this program is that up to 60% of those who have fallen below the poverty line will not qualify for medicaid.

The need for this program appears to be evident in the number of those who attempt to get qualified.

Certain individuals however, are not so sure that this program is being effective. The strictness or restrictiveness of this program is currently under fire.  Many argue that those who really need the program are not the ones on the program. Standards for this programs are state sponsored but a basic framework has been in place.

Who benefits from Medicaid?

Often payment while on medicaid does not go to the individual themselves but rather to the provider that is seeing them.  A co-pay in some states is often required.  Additional payment for services is done by the government.

Medical providers themselves are paid on a much lower basis per person on medicaid than an individual on private insurance. So they, in essence, take a loss of income when seeing a medicaid patient.

Each states “Medicaid Report Card” is different, with many states failing the quality of care and several large disparities may be seen.  Therefore, specific states are at risk while other states are consistently in the top performance for their category.

In our world today, insurance is practically required with expounding medical concerns and cost.  This program affords a large amount of people who would otherwise be without medical insurance or without an option for medical treatment.

The burden without this program would be so overwhelming that emergency rooms and other doctor’s offices would be forced to treat patients with little or no hope of recuperating any money from their visits. And although this still occurs in many cases – adding another 50 million insurance-less patients would be overwhelming to say the least.


Therefore – Is medicaid a good program – the answer has to be yes…but it is far from perfect.

As a result — health care reform may be better suited to improve the current program of medicaid then change the system and require an additional 50 years of pitfalls and problems that will most likely be seen with any new program.

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