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Number of people on Medicaid now outnumbers populations of France and U.K.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)
May 30th, 2013
Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

A record 72,600,000 were enrolled in Medicaid for at least one month in fiscal 2012, up from 71,700,000 in fiscal 2011. The number of those who received Medicare last year in the U.S outnumbered the 65,630,692 people who lived in France, or the 63,047,162 people who lived in the United Kingdom.

LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - These figures are courtesy of the CHIP Payment and Access Commission (MACPAC), which provides an annual report to Congress on Medicaid and the Children's Health Insurance Program.

If Medicaid was a nation rather than a U.S. government programs it would be the twentieth most populous nation in the world. "Medicaid-land" would rank just ahead of Thailand, which had 67,091,089 people in 2012, and just behind the Congo, which had 73,599,190 people in 2012.

Medicaid was created in 1965 by the same law that created Medicare, funded by both the federal and state governments. It was originally designed to provide health-care coverage to low-income Americans.

The last full year before President Barack Obama took office, in fiscal 2008, there were 58,794,000 Medicaid enrollees. Since then, Medicaid enrollment has expanded by more than 23 percent.

According to the Census Bureau, the total population of the United States was 314,332,190 in September 2012, the last month of fiscal 2012. That means the 72,600,000 who were enrolled in Medicaid at some time during the year equaled about 23 percent of the population -- or almost one out of every four people.

People served by Medicaid are U.S. citizens or legal permanent residents, including low-income adults, their children, and people with certain disabilities. Poverty alone does not necessarily qualify someone for Medicaid. Medicaid is the largest source of funding for medical and health-related services for people with low income in the United States. According to the Health Insurance Association of America, Medicaid is defined as a "government insurance program for persons of all ages whose income and resources are insufficient to pay for health care. Medicaid is state-administered and financed by both the states and the federal government."

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