The Effects of the AIDS Epidemic on Traditional Medicaid Populations

by Anthony H. Pascal, Peter Jacobson, Phoebe Lindsey Barton, Jennifer Duncan, John DiNardo

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This report examines whether and how Medicaid eligibility for the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) affects the distribution of services and funds for women, children, and other covered groups. The authors used both quantitative and qualitative research methods to ascertain whether other groups covered by Medicaid, particularly women and children, were being adversely affected by the HIV epidemic. The qualitative analysis targeted eight states to obtain greater detail on the effects of the acquired immune deficiency syndrome (AIDS) epidemic on Medicaid systems generally and on non-AIDS Medicaid-eligible groups in particular. The results suggest that there were no observable adverse effects on the traditional Medicaid populations because of the HIV epidemic through 1989. As more poor people become ill with HIV diseases, and the AIDS caseload as a whole continues to survive beyond the limits of private insurance plans, demands on the Medicaid program will grow. In the future, competition for Medicaid resources between AIDS patients and other beneficiaries could well occur.

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