The federal government rose past private households last year to become the nation’s biggest purchaser of health care, due in part to the expansion of the Medicaid program, according to a study released Friday. The findings comes as Republicans prepare plans to scale back the government’s role in securing health care for Americans.
The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services released the latest figures from the National Health Expenditure survey, which since 1960 has provided annual snapshots of this spending. The total tab for health care in the United States rose by 5.8 percent last year to $3.2 trillion. The federal government’s share of this spending grew at a faster rate than did other major segments, jumping by 8.9 percent last year to $918.5 billion.