While total U.S. health care spending grew slowly in 2011, rising about 4 percent, the story for state and local governments was dramatically different, according to the latest data from the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services. Health care spending by states and localities increased 10 percent, and consumed a larger share of revenues—about 3 out of every 10 dollars—than has been the case for these expenses since at least 1987.
When combined, federal and state spending on Medicaid—the jointly financed insurance program for low-income Americans—ticked up by less than 3 percent. But states’ share of Medicaid costs climbed by more than 20 percent, and the program remains their largest health care budget item.
As state and local governments continue to navigate through the aftermath of the Great Recession, health care spending remains a main source of fiscal pressure.
View the full infographic, State and Local Government Health Care Spending, on the Pew Center for the States website.