The March 5th edition of “The Economist” has a wonderful story on Medicaid reform. Here is an exerpt:

Medicaid spending has soared in recent times (up 63% in the past five years) thanks to rising health inflation, growing numbers of old people and long-term decline in employer-provided health insurance. Although Medicaid’s costs per participant have risen more slowly than private health-insurance premiums (6.9% a year between 2000 and 2003, compared with 12.6% in employer-sponsored plans), the number of new participants has accelerated spending. With no change in the law, the Congressional Budget Office expects Medicaid spending to rise by almost 8% a year in the coming decade.

This is the rationale behind the Bush Administration seeking significant changes in the way Medicaid is funded.

In NC local counties are told that increases will be around 12%-14% a year. Clearly there are additional problems in NC that will eventually require leadership at the state level or fiscal solvency issues at the couty level.