Arnold Kling  

Government-funded Health Care

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Funding Start-ups... A Fool and His Money...

Maggie Mahar writes,


it turns out that taxpayers bankroll 51 percent of the nation's $2 trillion health care bill: this includes paying for private insurance for public employees (accounting for 6 percent of total health care spending), Medicare (17 percent of the total), Medicaid and SCHIP (16 percent), and other public health services including veterans’ programs, public hospitals, and school programs (12 percent)...

But even those numbers don’t do justice to how much of total health care spending is subsidized by taxpayers. In 2004, when employers laid out roughly $443 billion for health benefits for their employees and retirees, employers deducted that $443 billion from their taxable income as part of the cost of doing business...in 2004 the government lost $108.5 billion in tax revenues and another $66.4 billion in payroll taxes for Social Security and Medicare.


And yet she blames health care cost inflation on the lack of government involvement in health care.

I should send her a copy of Crisis of Abundance.


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COMMENTS (4 to date)
Allen writes:

Some people have a hard time taking the tie to think through their arguments. Someone in her position should've have that excuse. She gets paid to do that, right?

Laurent GUERBY writes:

Not counting the worst source of health cost inflation which is of course government massive interventionism in the otherwise free market by the way of so called "intellectual property".

See Dean Baker writings on the topic.

Brian Ferguson writes:

Actually, public spending on health care per capita (not per beneficiary, so just dividing total govt health spending by total population) in the US is higher than per capita goverment spending in a lot of, if not all, developed countries with national health care systems.

DL writes:

I think that frivolous lawsuits is one of the big reasons why health care costs are rising. People sue doctors for millions over minor things which raises the insurance of doctors. Doctors then raise their fee to pay for the higher insurance cost. If frivolous lawsuits didn't exist then I'm sure our health care costs would be much lower.

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