Expanding Medicaid Program Has Crowded Out State Funding for Higher Education

Until just this year, the tuition paid by students attending Washington state colleges and universities have gradually increased for over 50 years. This has placed a greater financial burden on students and their families. It is now common for students to graduate burdened by thousands of dollars of school debt.

The Washington state budget has increased more than 400 percent over the same 50 years, and taxes today are higher than ever, while the state population has little more than doubled. Not only have the financial priorities of state lawmakers changed since 1965, the addition of spending on the Medicaid entitlement has crowded out the amount of funding available for other core responsibilities of the state government.

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