Stat of the Day: 5% of Medicaid Patients Consume 54% of Medicaid

Twenty-five per cent of all Medicare spending goes to the five percent of patients in their final year of life, Atul Gawande reported in the New Yorker. And here's a similar figure to stow in your hat: 5% of Medicaid patients consume more than half of all Medicaid spending.

medicaid graph.pngLike any insurance program, Medicare and Medicaid's heaping costs fall overwhelmingly on the most needy, like the dying and disabled. That's not a bad thing, per se. Focusing on the most needy is what insurance is supposed to do. But it will be impossible to address our health care cost crisis without focusing on these groups. Graph from Kaiser Family Foundation.


Presented by

Derek Thompson is a senior editor at The Atlantic, where he writes about economics, labor markets, and the entertainment business.

Join the Discussion

After you comment, click Post. If you’re not already logged in you will be asked to log in or register with Disqus.

Please note that The Atlantic's account system is separate from our commenting system. To log in or register with The Atlantic, use the Sign In button at the top of every page.

blog comments powered by Disqus

Video

A Stop-Motion Tour of New York City

A filmmaker animated hundreds of still photographs to create this Big Apple flip book

Video

The Absurd Psychology of Restaurant Menus

Would people eat healthier if celery was called "cool celery?"

Video

This Japanese Inn Has Been Open for 1,300 Years

It's one of the oldest family businesses in the world.

Video

What Happens Inside a Dying Mind?

Science cannot fully explain near-death experiences.

More in Business

Just In