Monday, February 22, 2010

Public Health Spending on the Elderly

Aside from Medicare, federal, state, and local government annual spend almost $700 billion on public health. They spend another $100 billion on veterans benefits (hospitals are a big part of that, too). Participants in those programs are of all ages, and the elderly participate in proportion to their share of the population, but program costs are a lot more per elderly person than for the rest. The House Ways and Means Committee reported in its Green Book that, for example, about a third of Medicaid spending was for persons aged 65+.

There are 38 million people aged 65+, so from these programs alone persons aged 65+ are getting almost $7,000 per person per year.

Tomorrow I will show how that $7k combines with other government programs for the elderly.

I mentioned that Medicare and public pensions are $1.5 trillion annually. Here's how I get that number:

Social Security
$721 billion in FY 2010 (see line 651 of table 3.2 of the FY 2011 Budget)

$457 billion in FY 2010 (see line 571 of the above-referenced table)

Federal Government Employee Pensions
$121 billion in FY 2010 (see line 602 of the above-referenced table)

State & Local Employee Retirement
$167 billion in FY 2007 (see row 161 of table 1 of the Census Bureau's Summary of State & Local Government Finances; FY 2007 is the most recent data I could find on retirement pensions)

TOTAL = $1.466 trillion. If S & L retirement were assumed to have grown FY 2007 to FY 2010 at the same rate as Federal retirement, then replace the FY 2007 $167 billion with $192 billion for FY 2010 and get a total of $1.491 trillion.

No comments: