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A Christian Community
Medicaid expenditures shown visually
by ADMIN on AUGUST 21, 2012
Well, it is time again for elections and the political season has begun in earnest. There is talk of budgets, debt, unemployment, health care and taxes. In previous articles, I wrote about several of these issues including the companion article to this one Medicare expenditures shown visually. For this article, we are going to show state Medicaid costs shown visually. The reason both the Medicare and the Medicaid articles were written is so that you the voter can easily see where your tax dollars are being spent, in what way and by how much. In our never-ending 24-hour news and political election cycle it seems Medicare and Medicaid invariably become an issue for debate. I thought for once it was about time we crunched the raw numbers and viewed the result of our Medicaid and Medicare costs objectively in easy to see graphs and charts. Only then can we make informed choices about our taxes, our health care system and whom we should vote for come November. The data for these graphs and charts comes from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid, which were in raw CSV format and imported into Excel. Once the data was transferred into Excel it was sorted into pivot tables and graphed. All the expenditures used to develop these charts were from that data and represent Medicaid health care costs grouped by service category, by United States geographic region and by state. The first chart is a bar graph of all states Medicaid costs per year in millions of dollars. This chart shows the steep rise in total Medicaid health care costs from 1980 to 2009. In 1980 the total Medicaid costs for all 50 states was less than 100 billion dollars, but by 2009, the cost had soared to a little under 700 billion dollars.


Chart two is a line graph of all aggregate regional Medicaid costs per year from 1980 to 2009. These costs are divided by region and type. It should be noted that in this graph only personal health care and hospital heath care services are included because those Medicaid costs were observed to increase the fastest in most states during the years surveyed. As you can see, in this line graph personal health care services for the Mideast grew the fastest of all US regions while hospital care for the Mideast ranked third. Medicaid expenditures for personal health care services grew at a slightly lower rate for the New England States. Also, note the exponential cost curve for the Mideast regions personal health care costs. This cost curve cannot be sustained.

Charts three through ten shows each US regions total Medicaid costs per year from 1980 to 2009 categorized by type of service provided. In all regions, Medicaid expenditures were led in cost by personal health care followed by hospital care. Nursing home care is also beginning to outpace other forms of health care services provided in some US regions as well. This may be due to the demographic makeup of these areas and perhaps because our populations is aging. Below are the graphs for all US regions total Medicaid costs per year from 1980 to 2009.



Charts ten through 15-show total Medicaid dollars spent categorized by state and percentage of US total for all years 1980 years 2009 combined. Not all services were graphed but only those that showed significant trends and those I felt would provide the best insight into where our Medicaid tax dollars are going. I will only discuss briefly the two charts, then display the rest and offer some concluding thoughts only because it is clear in the charts shown below that New York, California, Texas, Massachusetts and Pennsylvania lead ten year aggregate Medicaid spending in most categories. These states spend the most on Medicaid for most services out of all fifty states and out of these California and New York spend the most Medicaid dollars for almost all services combined for the last twenty years. This is unsustainable for both states and could combine with other costs lead to their eventual default.

The above pie chart shows that New York, California and Texas spent the most Medicaid dollars out of all 50 states in the category of personal health care for the combined years of 1980 to 2009. Since this chart along with all the pie charts in this article are a composite of all 50 states, their total Medicaid costs for each category of health care provided for the last twenty years you can see how astonishing it is that New York and California consumed 27 percent of the whole countries Medicaid dollars for personal health care. In fact, New York and


California spent over 25 percent of all Medicaid dollars, which are part federal money for the last twenty years on average. To put this in perspective just two out of fifty US states have been and are consuming the lions share of all Medicaid dollars! Since Medicaid is a partnership between the federal government and the state with each matching each others funds, this again is unsustainable for both the state involved and the federal government. The second pie chart below shows that again New York, California, Texas consumes the most Medicaid dollars for providing Hospital services in their respective states. Illinois also spent 5 percent of all Medicaid dollars for the years 1980 to 2009 combined.

These remaining graphs all show similar trends in Medicaid spending. Remember these pie charts show the aggregate total Medicaid spending by category of health care service rendered for the years 1980 to 2009 state by state.


As you can see from all these charts, we are spending quite a lot of Medicaid dollars at increasing rates. You can also see that certain categories such as Personal Health care and Hospital care are costing us the most money. In addition, we even know what states are spending the most Medicaid and on what type of health care service provided. What can we conclude from this? Well, maybe we can continue to provide good service to more people if we just slow the growth of personal health care service and hospital costs while pressing certain states to slow their growth of Medicaid costs as well. Maybe it does not have to be as complicated as it is made out to be and maybe no matter whom we vote for we can just tell the people whom are eventually elected, Just follow the math. I think if we listen to our hearts and not the silliness that goes on during the political season we can do right by our health care and by ourselves and by our families.