A stronger Medicaid emerges from GOP health overhaul debate

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WASHINGTON (AP) -- The Medicaid health care program for low-income people is a 1960s Great Society creation long reviled by conservatives.

But Medicaid seems to have emerged even stronger after Republicans were unable to pass health care legislation that tried to roll back President Barack Obama's expansion of the program and impose new spending limits.

Yet, Medicaid hasn't achieved the status of Social Security and Medicare, which are considered practically untouchable by politicians.

But the federal-state program has grown to cover about 1 in 5 U.S. residents, including many newborns, Alzheimer's patients in nursing homes, and young adults trying to shake addiction.

Middle-class working people are now more likely to personally know a Medicaid beneficiary.

Medicaid's increased acceptance means any new GOP health care legislation is unlikely to achieve deep cuts.

AP-WF-08-14-17 0748GMT

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