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NYC Medicaid near critical condition

New York Post, September 1, 2011

The number of city residents qualifying for Medicaid has hit a record that's likely to go even higher next year when enrollment will almost certainly reach the milestone 3 million mark -- or more than 37% of the population, officials said yesterday. As of July, a record 2,927,952 people here were getting their health insurance covered by the government. Although the numbers fluctuate slightly from month to month, the annual trend is headed in one direction: up. Five years ago, in July 2006, the city's Medicaid rolls stood at 2,573,610. Robert Doar, commissioner of the city's Human Resources Administration, which oversees Medicaid, said the steady increases are evidence that low-income workers are becoming dependent on the government for medical insurance as more and more employers drop health coverage. "The use of Medicaid as a work support for low-income workers is very much a part of what's going on in the city and the rest of the country as well," Doar said. "We think it's an important expenditure. It allows people to take employment that doesn't provide health insurance."