The Washington Post

Federal grants to states up for health care, down for everything else

The federal government has paid out about 20 percent more to states since the start of the recession, an increase that’s almost entirely driven by exploding health-care costs.

Federal spending on health care spiked 34 percent between 2008 and 2014, though it dropped in nearly every other category, according to an analysis by the Pew Charitable Trusts.

Funding for education and transportation declined by double digits, in addition to a 13 percent decline in “everything else,” which includes veterans benefits, energy and agriculture.


Medicaid accounted for about two-thirds of all federal funding to states in 2014, up from 43 percent two years ago.

The health care spending boom is largely the result of Medicaid expansions in 27 states this year under the Affordable Care Act, which was expected to add about 17 million people.

The federal government is fronting nearly all costs to expand Medicaid over the next decade, including paying for each person who is newly eligible for the program. In comparison, the government funds about 57 percent of Medicaid programs that existed before the health care law.


Medicaid costs will continue to skyrocket over the next decade. The Congressional Budget Office predicts an increase of about 8 percent per year – outpacing the expected rise in GDP.

States have relied heavily on federal grants since the recession,. Federal funds now make up an average of $1 out of every $3 in state revenues.

Excluding health care spending, states are now receiving about 5 percent less than they did  before the recession.

The Freddie Gray case

Please provide a valid email address.

You’re all set!

Campaign 2016 Email Updates

Please provide a valid email address.

You’re all set!
Comments
Show Comments
The Republicans debate Saturday night. The New Hampshire primary is on Feb. 9. Get caught up on the race.
Heading into the next debate...
Donald Trump returns to the Republican presidential debate stage Saturday night. Marco Rubio arrives as a sudden star, but fending off ferocious attacks from his rivals. Still glowing from his Iowa victory, Ted Cruz is trying to consolidate conservative support, while Ben Carson is struggling to avoid being typecast as the dead man walking.
Listen
Play Video
New Hampshire polling averages
Donald Trump holds a commanding lead in the next state to vote.
New Hampshire polling averages
Polling in New Hampshire has typically been volatile after Iowa's caucuses, but Bernie Sanders, from its neighboring state Vermont, has been holding a lead over Hillary Clinton.
55% 38%
Listen
Play Video
Upcoming debates
Feb. 6: GOP debate

on ABC News, in Manchester, N.H.

Feb. 11: Democratic debate

on PBS, in Wisconsin

Feb 13: GOP debate

on CBS News, in South Carolina

Campaign 2016
State of the race

To keep reading, please enter your email address.

You’ll also receive from The Washington Post:
  • A free 6-week digital subscription
  • Our daily newsletter in your inbox

Please enter a valid email address

I have read and agree to the Terms of Service and Privacy Policy.

Please indicate agreement.

Thank you.

Check your inbox. We’ve sent an email explaining how to set up an account and activate your free digital subscription.