Repeal of the Affordable Care Act has been one the biggest news items in recent weeks. Changes to Medicaid in Republican proposals have received a lot of attention, but many people do not know exactly what Medicaid does.

You probably know that Medicaid is the federal government program that provides health care coverage to poor Americans. However, in the debate about the repeal of Obamacare (Affordable Care Act) and possible reductions to Medicaid in various appeal proposals, what often gets lost is exactly what that federal government program for the poor does.

Facts about the program get lost in the media noise.

It is important to know the facts, because only then can you really decide if you are for or against any changes.

NPR recently published a list of some lesser known facts about Medicaid in “From Birth To Death, Medicaid Affects The Lives of Millions,” including:

  • It is very expensive. Medicaid currently takes up approximately 10% of the federal budget. State governments contribute even more on top of that to the costs of the program.
  • Half of all births in the U.S. are covered by Medicaid. The program has been expanded multiple times to include more and more pregnant women.
  • Some 62% of nursing home residents have their care through Medicaid.
  • Disabled people and the people who take care of them are often eligible to receive their care through Medicaid.
  • Medicaid is a major source of funding for the fight against opioid addiction.

Reference: NPR (June 27, 2017) “From Birth To Death, Medicaid Affects The Lives of Millions.”