This is an important issue. So many statistics are thrown around in political debates, and rarely are the sources referenced. My sources for the above statement have been multiple, but today I tracked down where the figures originated from.
"Health care expenditures in this country are already half public . . ."
I have heard this before, but can't find a source. Can you suggest one?
One source is a report from Dept. of Health and Human Services, the "Long-Term Growth of Medical Expenditures — Public and Private" The first pie chart visually compares public and private funding from 1960 and 2003. (Purple is public, blue is private)
Another data source is the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services, a division of the Dept. of Health and Human Services. See: National Health Expenditures>>Historical. Scroll down to Downloads, and then retrieve the "NHE summary including share of GPD, CY 1960-2007." If you open this spreadsheet, you will find the following data for 2007:
National health exp.
Private $ 1,205.50 billion -- 53.8%
Public $1,035.70 billion -- 46.2%
Total: $ 2,241.20 billion
In order to be more accurate, I should change my statement to read "Health care expenditures in this country are nearly half public . .." But this does not change the underlying principle that since 1960 there has been an explosive growth in government's share of health care funding. This growth has been accompanied by a similar increase in government regulation and control of the shrinking private sector--which adds even more to the cost of providing care.