Why Does New York Spend So Much On Medicaid?
December 22, 1999
Medicaid spending in New York state is far out of line with every other state's: per capita, it spends at least 50 percent more than in the next worse state (Connecticut).
According to a new report from the Public Policy Institute of New York State, based on 1997 figures (the latest available):
- New York spends 2.25 times the national average per capita annually -- over $1,300 for every resident in the state.
- The program pays out benefits for about 3.1 million individuals annually, about 10 percent of the state's population, at an average cost per individual recipient of $7,900.
- Supporting Medicaid costs the average family of four New Yorkers more than $5,000 per year.
In 1997, Medicaid in New York cost $24.525 billion. By comparison, California and Texas combined, with about three times the population, spend only about 5 percent more for Medicaid than the total for New York. Per patient, New York's hospital costs per patient are $4,200 a year, compared to $2,391 for Texas and California.
Actually, only about two-thirds of Medicaid spending in New York is for traditional Medicaid recipients -- families on welfare, the disabled, low-income and other needy residents. The rest pays for nursing-home care and home health care for the elderly and others -- most of whom were not classified as "needy" until they began to require such intensive, long-term care.
Source: "Medicaid: Wreaking Havoc in Health Care," Special Report, December 1999, Public Policy Institute of New York State, Inc., 152 Washington Avenue, Albany, New York 12210, (518) 465-7511.
For the PPINYS
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