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www.nytimes.com/2009/01/22/us/22medicaid.html?scp=2&sq=Medicaid&st=cse January 22, 2009">http://www.nytimes.com/2009/01/22/us/22medicaid.html?scp=2&sq=Medicaid&st=cse
January 22, 2009
Growing Need for Medicaid Strains States
By KEVIN SACK and KATIE ZEZIMA
LAWRENCEVILLE, Ga. — Medicaid rolls are surging, by unprecedented rates in some states, as the recession tightens its grip on the economy and Americans lose their employer-sponsored health coverage along with their jobs.
In a number of states, Medicaid populations grew by 5 percent to 10 percent in the last 12 months and, in many, the growth rate was at least double what it had been in the previous year. State Medicaid officials also say that because enrollment often lags behind job losses by several months, the growth in 2008 may represent only the leading edge of heightened demand.
In most states, much of the growth in Medicaid has been among children from low-income families, who constitute about half of all recipients. The program also provides coverage for those with disabilities, pregnant women, nursing home residents, and in some instances parents of covered children and childless adults.
In a nationwide survey, with 40 states responding, The New York Times found that in some cases the surge in enrollment had overwhelmed social services agencies, and prompted state fiscal analysts to shred estimates that were often only six months old.
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