Capitol Hill Briefing

Medicaid’s Soaring Costs: Time to Step on the Brakes

July 19, 2007 8:30 AM to 10:00 AM EDT

385 Russell Senate Office Building

Featuring Sen. Judd Gregg (R-NH), Member, Senate Budget Committee, Jagadeesh Gokhale, Cato Institute, and John Holahan, Urban Institute.

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Medicaid lacks even a fictional trust fund and an annual trustees’ report so the massive program’s fiscal outlook receives less attention than other entitlements. Yet a new Cato Institute study suggests that Medicaid’s fiscal outlook is every bit as dire as those of Social Security and Medicare. Cato senior fellow Jagadeesh Gokhale estimates that the discounted present value of just federal Medicaid spending over the next 100 years equals $21 trillion. If the federal government continues to match state Medicaid outlays at the current rate, by the year 2106 Medicaid alone will consume 13 percent of GDP — eight times its current share. Gokhale argues that limiting the growth of Medicaid spending is essential to restoring the federal government’s financial health. Please join us for a discussion of Medicaid’s fiscal outlook and Gokhale’s projections by Senator Gregg and John Holahan, leading authorities on Medicaid and the federal budget.