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One Federal Department Now Spending $100 Billion Per Month

The client for Midwest Surgical Hospital sought to create an environment that evoked the look and feel of a high-end hotel. PHOTO: Atlas

By Terence P. Jeffrey | 10 July 2019

CNS NEWS — For the first time in our nation’s history, there is now a federal department spending an average of more than $100 billion per month.

No, it is not the Department of Defense, which is charged with the core federal responsibility of defending us from foreign enemies.

It is the Department of Health and Human Services, which, if Democratic Sen. Bernie Sanders of Vermont has his way, will run the “Medicare for All” program.

As it now stands, HHS runs Medicare for many and Medicaid for more.

“In 2019, the program will cover an estimated 61 million persons (52 million aged and 9 million disabled),” the Congressional Research Service said of Medicare in a report published in May.

“Medicaid is a means-tested entitlement program that finances the delivery of primary and acute medical services as well as long-term services and supports (LTSS) to an estimated 75 million people at a cost to states and the federal government of $616 billion in FY2018,” CRS said in a report published in June.

“CBO also estimates that federal Medicare spending (after deduction of beneficiary premiums and other offsetting receipts) will be about $637 billion in 2019, accounting for about 14% of total federal spending and 3% of GDP,” said CRS.

“Mandatory spending typically accounts for the majority of the HHS budget,” CRS explained in a report published in March. […]

EXHIBIT 1.3 Expected Primary Payer. 1.3c Growth in number of hospital stays by expected primary payer, 1997 through 2009. Growth in number of hospital stays by expected primary payer, 1997 through 2009. Bar chart. Cumulative percent growth. Uninsured: 42%; Medicaid: 42%; Medicare: 17%; all stays: 14%; other: 1%; private insurance: −3%. Note: Uninsured includes stays classified as self-pay or no charge. Note: Other includes payers such as Workers’ Compensation, TRICARE, CHAMPUS, CHAMPVA, Title V, and other government programs. Source: AHRQ, Center for Delivery, Organization, and Markets, Healthcare Cost and Utilization Project, Nationwide Inpatient Sample, 1997 and 2009.
Growth in Number of Hospital Stays by Expected Primary Payer, 1997–2009 SOURCE: NCBI

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