According to researchers from the George Washington University (GWU) School of Public Health, in 2010, almost half of all births in the United States were paid for by Medicaid, and that rate is only going to go up. Medicaid was responsible for 48% of the 3.8 million births in 2010, an increase of 90,000 births from 2008, which was an 8% increase during that period.
Lead investigator Anne Markus, an associate professor of health policy at GWU, said, “As states expand coverage, low-income women of childbearing age will be able to obtain more continuous coverage before and between pregnancies. Now, for the first time, researchers will have a comprehensive baseline that will help them determine how increased access to services might change pregnancies and ultimately birth outcomes.”
Study co-author Cynthia Pellegrini, senior vice president for public policy and government affairs at the March of Dimes, said that the analysis would help to ascertain how successful Medicaid was in addressing the reduction of childbirth complications and the health of women and their babies: “This study gives us a window into the vital role Medicaid plays in maternal and child health. With these data in hand, we’ll be able to accurately monitor the impact of Medicaid expansion and other factors on the births covered by state Medicaid programs.”
In New York City in 2009, 76% of Hispanic births were covered by Medicaid, 70% of births in the black community were covered, and 31% of whites.