Federal Medicaid spending grew by nearly 18 in 2014 over 2013, the National Association of State Budget Officers reported in a detailed analysis of state budgets. The federal government doled out nearly $42 billion to the states in new Medicaid dollars in the last year, helping to reverse a pattern set in the recession of shrinking state budgets.

The increased spending was the direct result of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, which offered states additional Medicaid funding if they expanded their programs, the association's report said. State's own funds grew by 4.8 percent in 2014 over 2013, while federal funding increased by 7.6 percent this year.

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Dan Cook

Dan Cook is a journalist and communications consultant based in Portland, OR. During his journalism career he has been a reporter and editor for a variety of media companies, including American Lawyer Media, BusinessWeek, Newhouse Newspapers, Knight-Ridder, Time Inc., and Reuters. He specializes in health care and insurance related coverage for BenefitsPRO.