The Medicaid Pac-Man is devouring state budgets

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When Medicaid was created in the mid-1960s, it was intended to provide medical care for people who truly had nowhere else to turn—namely, individuals with disabilities and the elderly. But over time, the program has ballooned, now serving 76 million people.

Even worse, nearly 40% of enrollees are now able-bodied adults. There are close to twice as many able-bodied adults in Medicaid today as there are elderly and individuals with disabilities combined.

Medicaid’s rapid growth is no secret, and it’s cause for concern across the country. Those who work with state policymakers see it firsthand—state leaders realize how consuming Medicaid has become. From Maine to Montana, the overwhelming growth of the program is often at the top of their minds.