1. Medicaid is a joint federal and state program that provides certain health benefits to low-income Americans, people with disabilities and people in nursing facilities. It is funded jointly by the state and federal governments and administered by the states.
2. Medicaid serves 56 million people. Medicaid became law in 1964 under the Social Security Act’s Title XIX.
3. According to the Congressional Budget Office, 64 percent of spending on Medicaid in the 2010 fiscal year went to people with disabilities and older Americans, with 36 percent going to children and families.
4. The Kaiser Family Foundation determined that 7 out of every 10 residents of a nursing facility are on Medicaid, in part because even middle-income patients often exhaust their savings while in a nursing facility.
5. Beginning in 2014, eligibility for Medicaid will include all Americans up to 133 percent of the poverty level. States are required to maintain eligibility levels, and if they fail to do so, they will lose all federal matching funds for the Medicaid program.