by Mitch Kokai
Senior Political Analyst, John Locke Foundation
Compared to 1960, we pay for health care a lot less with money we’ve taken out of our own pockets and given directly to health care providers. We also pay a lot more with money we’ve taken out of our own pockets and given to the government or insurers so that they can then give the money to health care providers (while keeping a cut of it). The result of that arrangement is about what you expect: Health care consumers have been behaving much like 100 diners who decide to split a restaurant bill equally regardless of what anybody orders. [See: “If You’re Paying, I’ll Have Top Sirloin,” by Russell Roberts, Wall Street Journal, May 18, 1995.] And the problem is projected to get worse, thanks to ObamaCare:
The graph … is basically a replication of one John Merline produced at Investor’s Business Daily last week. We added the trend line on health care’s share of the economy. ObamaCare hasn’t fixed the third-party payer problem; it has reinforced it by creating new entitlements, massively expanding others, and mandating more extensive insurance coverage. As Merline reports:
ObamaCare is fueling some of this spending surge. This year, federal spending on health care is expected to climb an eye-opening 14.7%. And its growth rate will exceed that of private spending for at least the next 10 years, the data show.
CMS also expects Medicaid spending to shoot up 18.4% this year, thanks largely to 28 states’ expansion of the Medicaid program under ObamaCare.