By Matt Cover
November 9, 2012
(CNSNews.com) – A record 70.4 million people were enrolled in the Medicaid health care program for the poor in fiscal year 2011, according to government figures provided to CNSNews.com.
That figure equals about 22 percent of the population, which means there was one person on Medicaid for every 5 Americans in 2011.
The record number of Medicaid enrollees in 2011 – the most recent year for which figures are available – is a count of all persons enrolled in Medicaid for any part of that year, providing the fullest and most accurate count of the size of the entitlement program. (The federal fiscal year in 2011 ran from Oct. 1, 2010 to Sept. 30, 2011.)
Figures provided to CNSNews.com by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS), the agency that oversees the two health care entitlements, reveal an ever-expanding Medicaid program. From 2005 to 2011, total enrollees grew by more than 10 million people, going from 60.1 million in 2005 to 70.4 million in 2011.
Medicaid is the joint federal-state health care program for the poor that allows states to extend coverage beyond those who are in poverty. Recently, the ObamaCare health reform law expanded Medicaid eligibility to those living on 133 percent of the federal poverty level.
The poverty level annual income for a family of four is $23,000 – 133 percent of that, in terms of annual income for a family of four, would be $30,590.
That expansion does not go into effect until 2014, however, and therefore does not affect the continued growth trend. Nor does it contribute to the record 70.4 million Americans enrolled in Medicaid.