Analysis: Spending on Health Programs Trumps Calif.’s General Fund
In California, government health spending on Medicare and Medi-Cal has surpassed the total amount of the state's general fund budget, according to estimates from the U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis, the Sacramento Bee reports.
Medi-Cal is California's Medicaid program.
Government Spending in California
In 2011, the federal and state government spent $46 billion on Medi-Cal, and the federal government spent $59 billion on Medicare in California, according to the estimates. The figures roughly equate to $2,800 per California resident.
After adjusting for inflation, BEA estimated that Medicare and Medi-Cal spending in the state has doubled in the last 15 years.
According to the estimates, California contributes about $16 billion annually to Medi-Cal.
Government Spending Nationwide
BEA estimated that the federal government in 2011 spent six times as much on Medicare and Medicaid nationally as it did on unemployment benefits and 16 times as much on the health programs as it did on food stamps.The Congressional Budget Office estimates that Medicare and Medicaid spending will increase from 5% of the U.S. gross domestic product today to 10% of GDP by 2037 (Reese, Sacramento Bee, 2/26). This is part of the California Healthline Daily Edition, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.