The success of any reform of U.S. health care will stand or fall with the provisions made for Medicaid. It has the most beneficiaries of any U.S health program, takes a sizable and increasing portion of federal and state budgets, and serves the most vulnerable among us—the indigent and the disabled.
A few numbers give an idea of the size and cost of this giant program.
Medicaid’s enrollment, at 71.6 million, is larger than the population of France and includes about 22 percent of the U.S. population.
Combined federal and state spending on Medicaid in fiscal 2016 was $574.2 billion.