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Medicaid

Medicaid provides health coverage for approximately 29 million children, more than one in four children nationwide, from families who are at or near the Federal Poverty Level (FPL). Under Medicaid, states are required to pay for mandatory services, such as the Early and Periodic Screening, Diagnosis, and Treatment (EPSDT), a comprehensive and preventive program for recipients under age 21. Medicaid is known as a counter-cyclical program, meaning that in good economic times, demand for the program decreases but in times of economic downturn, demand increases as state revenues drop. In the current economic climate, Medicaid becomes a safety net for families in which parents have lost their jobs and subsequently their insurance coverage.