(CNSNews.com) - A record 72,600,000 were enrolled in Medicaid for at least one month in fiscal 2012, up from 71,700,000 in fiscal 2011, according to the Medicaid and CHIP Payment and Access Commission (MACPAC), which provides an annual report to Congress on Medicaid and the Children's Health Insurance Program.
The 72,600,000 enrolled in Medicaid in the United States in 2012 was more than the 65,630,692 people who lived in France last year, according to data published by the Census Bureau, or the 63,047,162 people who lived in the United Kingdom.
In fact, if Medicaid was a country rather than a U.S. government program it would be the twentieth most populous nation in the world, ranking just ahead of Thailand, which had 67,091,089 people in 2012, and just behind the Congo, which had 73,599,190 people in 2012.
Funded by both the federal and state governments, Medicaid was created in 1965 by the same law that created Medicare. It is designed to provide health-care coverage to low-income Americans.
In fiscal 2008, the last full year before President Barack Obama took office, there were 58,794,000 Medicaid enrollees. Since then, Medicaid enrollment has expanded by more than 23 percent.
According to the Census Bureau, the total population of the United States was 314,332,190 in September 2012, the last month of fiscal 2012. That means the 72,600,000 who were enrolled in Medicaid at some time during the year equaled about 23 percent of the population--or almost one out of every four people.