Happy Birthday, Medicaid — Connecticut has a lot to be thankful for

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Fifty years ago today President Johnson signed the Medicaid program into law. The program now covers one in five Connecticut residents with efficient, quality care. Since switching from a capitated, insurer-based program to a self-determined, care-focused program in January 2012, costs are stable (down slightly) per person, quality is up (fewer people are going to the ER for non-urgent problems), and 32% more providers are participating. It took the efforts of many advocates over more than a decade, and it was difficult, but we finally made that switch happen. And good health is a powerful thing. Children covered by Medicaid are more likely to finish school and have higher earnings as adults. In one study, economists estimated that just the taxes on the higher earnings of those adults make up the cost of Medicaid coverage for children now on the program. So Happy Birthday to Medicaid – especially to the many professionals that provide that healing care. Many many thanks to Connecticut’s Medicaid providers.