Monday, September 5, 2016

Public money accounts for more than two-thirds of health care spending in California

Search Press Releases | UCLA Center for Health Policy Research

Comment by Don McCanne

Over two-thirds of
health care in California - 71 percent -  is paid for by the government,
using our taxes. That is even greater than the national taxpayer share
of health care - 64 percent (increasing to 67 percent in 2024) - as
demonstrated by Himmelstein and Woolhandler.

Himmelstein and Woolhandler have stated previously, U.S. taxpayers are
already paying for a national health program, but not getting it. And
that is even more true for Californians.

has previously made efforts to adopt a single payer program, but they
have failed - in the election booth, in the state legislature, and on
the governor’s desk. As we continue to shift more of health care costs
to the government, we have brought along our terribly wasteful,
fragmented health care financing system. The California taxpayers are
getting a bad deal, and a very expensive one at that ($261 billion for
2016 in public spending alone).

enabling federal legislation, states are limited in how close they can
come to a much more efficient single payer system, but that does not
mean that we should not proceed with whatever is possible now.

and every other state for that matter, should do two things
simultaneously: 1) Advocate vigorously for a national single payer
program - an improved Medicare for all, and 2) Move forward on a state
level with improving the health care financing system so that eventual
transition to a national program will be that much simpler, not to
mention providing some limited interim relief.

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