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The National Association of Medicaid Directors (NAMD) is a 501(c) (3) entity that was created in large part to help Medicaid Directors develop consensus on critical issues and leverage their influence with respect to national policy debates. NAMD also exists to facilitate dialogue amongst the members in the 50 states, 5 territories and the District of Columbia, and help provide best practices and technical assistance tailored to individual members as they seek to sustain the program and ensure it continues to serve the needs of current and future enrollees.
Every state designates a single agency with responsibility for administration of this program, and the Medicaid Directors are those individuals tasked with the primary responsibility of ensuring that the program is providing high quality, cost effective care to its beneficiaries. Medicaid Directors' efforts to be leaders and innovators in the nation's complex health care system are made more challenging by historic state budget challenges, as well as a complex and fragmented web of federal oversight and regulation.
Medicaid is the nation's health care safety net. Jointly financed by the states and the federal government, Medicaid will spend more than $420 billion last year to provide health care to more than 72 million Americans. The program is administered by the states within a broad federal framework which leads to enormous variation across states in terms of who is covered, what services are provided, and how those services are delivered and paid for. Furthermore, within any given state, Medicaid's role is broad, varied, and complex. Medicaid funds more than 40 percent of all births, and the majority of all publicly financed long-term care in this country. It also provides most of the nation's funding for HIV/AIDS related treatments, mental health services, and others. It is therefore very difficult to talk simplistically about Medicaid (either nationally, or within a state), despite its incredible importance in the U.S. health care system.