Medicaid's Role in Ambulatory Health Care

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Abstract

Medicaid plays an enormously important role in ambulatory care financing, both primary and specialized, for patients with routine health needs, as well as individuals with chronic illness and disability. Nearly all Medicaid beneficiaries receive the vast bulk of their health care in ambulatory settings. Medicaid plays a critical role for low-income persons, including children, pregnant women and families, and elderly and disabled Medicare beneficiaries. The Bush administration's proposal to subject federal Medicaid spending to annual aggregate limits could be expected to have especially severe effects on states' capacity to support ambulatory services and achieve innovations in community-based care.

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