The Patient Protection Affordable Care Act will add about sixteen million people to state Medicaid rolls by lowering the eligibility standards. To help pay for this, the PPACA provides temporary enhanced federal payments to the states. Nevertheless the states are worried about this increased obligation at a time when many states are struggling with their budgets. This may be a classic case of cost shifting that should worry every state taxpayer. In the meantime Medicaid has a direct impact on health care costs. Medicaid pays about one-half the commercial rate for health care services and one survey shows that 35% of physicians expect to lower their number of Medicaid patients. This means that more costs will likely be shifted to the private sector.
An article from Kaiser Health News reports on the expected growth in Medicaid long term care costs.