Government Expected To Pay More Than Half Of US Health Costs

The government takeover of health care is continuing, even without President Barack Obama's planned overhaul of the system.

A new report by Medicare number crunchers says federal and state programs will pay slightly more than half the tab for health care purchased in the United States by 2012. The shift to a health care sector dominated by government is being sped up by the deep economic recession and the aging of the Baby Boomers, millions of whom will soon start signing up for Medicare.

Christopher Truffer of Medicare's Office of the Actuary says the tipping point is likely to come next year.

For technical reasons, the report assumes that Congress is going to allow Medicare to cut doctor fees by 20 percent later this year, as required by a 1990s budget law. But lawmakers have routinely waived such cuts, and they're not likely to allow them in an election year. So government probably will end up picking up most of the nation's medical costs in 2011, instead of 2012.

The analysis appears in the journal Health Affairs.

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  • by Radog Location: Newport on Feb 9, 2010 at 03:23 PM
    Government Expected To Pay More Than Half ,you mean we pay with big taxes than we pay again. How about the Goverment start their own Insurance Health company and offer it to the people that want it or need it . a way better idea
  • by Anonymous on Feb 5, 2010 at 05:11 AM
    Other dubious contracts include: -- $6 million in stimulus money to a California contractor under federal investigation for overcharging San Diego for cleanup after the 2007 wildfires -- A Denver developer received $13 million in tax credits to help build a senior housing complex despite being sued as a slumlord for running decrepit, rodent-infested apartment buildings in San Francisco. -- Kentucky gave $24 million to a contractor on trial on for bribery. -- An aerospace company received $15 million to monitor water quality in a Ventura County creek it was already fined for polluting.
  • by Anonymous on Feb 5, 2010 at 05:09 AM
    continued: Two Arizona universities got almost $1 million dollars so 3 grad students can study how ants work. That's more than $300,000 per job. Companies that raise tropical fish, shellfish, catfish, alligators and even turtles qualify for $50 million in tax money to buy fish food. North Carolina public schools received $4.4 million to hire math and literacy coaches, not for students, but teachers. That's 64 people paid $70,000 each to teach teachers how to teach reading and math. THE OBAMA STIMULIS AT WORK, WE ARE SO LUCKY TO HAVE SOMEONE LIKE HIM IN OFFICE. STOP SPENDING MY CHILDRENS FUTURE.
  • by Anonymous on Feb 5, 2010 at 05:06 AM
    $233,000 to the University of California at San Diego to study why Africans vote. Jobs created: 12, but seven of those are Africans in Africa. In Nevada, $2 million in stimulus money built a new fire station, but because of budget cuts, the county can't afford to hire firefighters to work there. Penn State University got $1.5 million to study plant fossils in Argentina. Of 5 jobs created, 2 belong to Argentines. Researchers the State University of New York at Buffalo got $389,000 to pay 100 Buffalonians $45 each to record how much malt liquor they drink -- and how much pot smoke each day. Consumption is then reported via an automated phone hotline. Cost per job: almost $200,000. The Obama administration is spending $5 billion to weatherize homes. But one Texas county spent $4 million to weatherize just 47 homes. That's $78,000 per house. Each retrofit is supposed to save homeowners $500 a year in energy costs. That means taxpayers will recoup their investment in 156 years, long after the home is probably torn down.
  • by Wow Location: Greenville on Feb 4, 2010 at 08:27 PM
    It's sad but most people probably feel like Lavon does. America right now and for the past decade has been a consumer, not a producer. We sell our debt to foreign countries and buy items from them. We are a powerful country indeed but trillions in foreign debt, a weakened dollar, and the military industrial complex that is the US does not a good mixture make. There are smart things we can collectively use our tax dollars for and there are stupid things. I personally think we should have let the banks fail - maybe it would have caused a depression - but the chances we are taking right now are far more dangerous. We are basically saying, "OK, double or nothing". "Nothing" means a near total collapse of our economy and a major hit to the global economy as well. If we spend those trillions on research and producing new tech we MIGHT become the huge producer we once were...but that is like counting your chickens before they're hatched.
  • by US citizen for now Location: Washington on Feb 4, 2010 at 11:57 AM
    Wow, but Lavon doesn't think so. He must know something that Wall Street economists don't know regarding how much debt we owe and what we're worth on the dollar. Lavon, stop the presses, all that paper you're printing is worthless. If Palin or Brown were president, Lavon would change his story and say the Federal Reserve has no more money, despite what congressional members or politician would tell him. hee heeeee
  • by Anonymous military dude on Feb 4, 2010 at 10:27 AM
    Lavon, if the Federal Reserve has so much money, why are we borrowing money from China? Thats like someone hitting the lottery for 2 million dollars and then going out and getting a loan to buy a car.
  • by Back Location: Greenville on Feb 4, 2010 at 10:03 AM
    Someone jiggle the handle; the toilet is stuck and still running. At least is was at 1035.
  • by Wow Location: Greenville on Feb 4, 2010 at 09:50 AM
    The Federal Reserve can say there's as much money there as they want - why do you think the dollar has tanked in value? The Fed bought up 80% of our debt last time cause no one else wants to buy it anymore! Our economy is on life support. Downplaying this fact and saying we are rich is frankly ignorant. Trillions of tax dollars have been spent to avert another great depression. America MUST become a producer again, and if we don't take the proper steps to ensure our this we will be living in an America much like the one from the 1930's again - and probably for many more years than we did before. That said, I still stand behind a true UHC system. My opinion is that it will help the poor and middle class alike, control costs, cost far less for 95% of the population, and influence the growth of small business. Unless you want to repeal EMTALA and all public health programs, UHC is miles and away more effective than the current for-profit status quo or the godawful Senate bill.
  • by Jim Location: SC on Feb 4, 2010 at 09:03 AM
    Lavon -- All that money you're referring to is nothing more than "fiat money". It's backed by absolutely nothing, and is worth only what the rest of the world thinks it's worth. And if you'll look at the world currency markets, they're thinking less and less of it every day. The only money the Federal Reserve has is what the Mint prints, whether it's actually worth anything or not. "Broke" is a relative statement and only takes meaning when one can not make the payments on what it owes, and that's the way this country has been heading here lately.
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