Federal Issues | Health and Human Services Overview


Health spending is projected to grow at an average rate of 6.2 percent annually over the 2015–21 period, reflecting the net effects of the increasing aging and newly insured populations, and implementation of the Affordable Care Act. Currently, national health expenditures (NHE) account for more than 17 percent of the gross domestic product, and health care exceeds all other state issues as a percentage of state budgets.

Entitlement programs such as Medicaid are administered through a state-federal partnership. The federal government establishes minimum requirements for partnership programs, while states design, implement, administer and oversee their own programs. This sharing of power, or federalism, enables states the opportunity to participate in a number of health care programs funded in whole or part by the federal government. The NCSL Federal Health portal provides information, news and alerts on a full range of health topics at the forefront of congressional, federal agency and White House action, while monitoring emerging issues that may affect states in the future.