Primer on Medicaid

Medicaid is a means-tested entitlement program designed to provide low-income Americans with basic health care.  Enacted in 1965 through Title XIX of the Social Security Amendment, Medicaid was created to help bridge the living standards between rich and poor as a part of President Johnson’s war on poverty.

Since 1965, Medicaid has grown to be a multi-billion dollar program, and a major portion of both state and federal budgets.  In 2009 over 60 million people were covered by Medicaid for at least one month, or about one in every five U.S. citizens.  The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) projects that by 2019, enrollment will increase to almost 80 million.

Download PDF