Health spending out of control

Spending on health programs exceeds state general fund budget

Government spending on Medicare and Medi-Cal in California has exceeded the total amount of the state’s general-fund budget, a report finds.

The report, released by the U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis, found that the federal and state governments spent $46 billion on Medi-Cal in 2011, while the federal government spent $59 billion on Medicare, a health program for the elderly, according to The Sacramento Bee.

The BEA noted that California pays about $16 billion to Medi-Cal annually. Further, the report estimated that state spending on Medicare and Medi-Cal has doubled in the last 15 years, and is set to equal 10 percent of national gross domestic product by 2037.

The BEA also estimated that the federal government spent six times more on health programs than on unemployment benefits and 16 times more than on food stamps.