CHICAGO - States already struggling to meet Medicaid payments face spending increases next year that could outstrip their general fund growth by up to four times, according to a new report on the program released by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services.

Already a top budget item for states, spending on Medicaid is expected to easily outpace economic growth at the federal and local levels over the next 10 years, according to center's first fiscal annual report on the Medicaid program. It examines current spending and makes 10-year cost projections.

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