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July 28, 2015

Medicaid’s New Role in the Health Care System

Author Affiliations
  • 1Manatt, Phelps and Phillips, Washington, DC
JAMA. 2015;314(4):343-344. doi:10.1001/jama.2015.8433

Over the past 50 years, Medicaid has evolved from an adjunct to state welfare programs to the nation’s largest health insurer. The Affordable Care Act (ACA) affirmed Medicaid’s insurance credentials as 1 of 3 “insurance affordability programs”—along with subsidized coverage through a state-based or Federally Facilitated Marketplace and the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP)—that make up the new coverage continuum for people who do not have access to affordable workplace coverage. Medicaid now insures more than 71.1 million people (an increase of 12.3 million since the first Marketplace open enrollment began)1 and in 2015 is projected to account for $343 billion in total spending.2

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