From the New York Times:
Enrollment in Medicaid is climbing to record highs, prompting grave concerns among the states about the future of the government health insurance for poor people and those with disabilities, according to a survey released Wednesday.
An annual survey of state Medicaid directors, conducted by the Kaiser Family Foundation’s Commission on Medicaid and the Uninsured, found enrollment growing by an average of 5.4 percent in the previous fiscal year, the highest rate in six years. Eight states reported increases of more than ten percent.
… state officials are already panicking about how to compensate when the spike in federal matching funds expires at the end of 2010. Few anticipate any significant reduction in their Medicaid rolls by then.
“Many states believe they may be pressured to consider previously unthinkable eligibility and benefit reductions,” the Kaiser report concluded. Unless Congress and President Obama extend the federal aid, the cuts needed to balance state budgets may be “on a scale not ever seen in Medicaid,” the authors warned.
“What we will have to look at is wholesale elimination of eligibility groups,” [said a Nevada official.]