Medicaid, national health insurance program in the United States for low-income persons; established in 1965 with passage of the Social Security Amendments and now run by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services. The federal role in Medicaid is limited to setting standards, issuing regulations and guidelines, and overseeing operation of the program by the states. About 42.7 million people received Medicaid in 2000. Of the various services covered under Medicaid, about half of the funds are used to purchase in-patient hospital services and nursing home services; the remainder covers physician services, drugs, laboratory services, X rays, and other services. Political debate on the future of Medicaid has accompanied health-care reform and budget deficit reduction debates.
The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.
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