Before anything, I want to establish here that the government of any nation owes an obligation to the medical/healthcare of its citizens. This is one of the duties of the state, the very essence why we have a government in the first place. Once this is established, there would be no difficulty in understanding why the government is spending more money on medical care.
Furthermore, although it is an established fact that a change in the lifestyle of people is a better and more effective way of reducing the mortality rate of a country, I personally believe that the reason why government still spend a chunk of its resources on Medicare is because they want to reduce the reason/excuse for the death of the citizens. We must understand that America is a nation that is built on the principle of liberty and thus the government has restricted power in changing the lifestyle pattern of the people. The option left for the government therefore is limited to making sure that there is no loose end from their own part. Therefore, what is government is doing by spending a lot of money on Medicare is because they want to be justified.
Apart from this, the highest percentage of people taking Medicare in America is the elderly (NCPA, 2006). This explains why the mortality rate is not changing commensurately to the money that the government is spending on medical care. Those that consume more health care are those that would actually die sooner or later and so there seem to be no difference in the overall mortality rate of the country.
In addition to this, another thing that accounts for the high government spending on health care is the fact unlike other nations across the world, the American government does not have direct control over its spending on Healthcare. This is where the HMOs come in. The idea of patients and healthcare provider autonomy in making decisions for themselves is a welcomed idea but it is hitting deep into the nation’s expenditure. This means that even if the government does not want to spend as much, the system would make them spend more.
http://www.whitehouse.gov/infocus/healthcare/ Retrieved on October, 20, 2008.
http://www.ncpa.org/prs/rel/2006/20060628.html Retrieved on October 2008-10-20
Levit, K. (2001). Trends in state health care expenditures and funding: 1980-1998. Retrieved from http://www.allbusiness.com/finance/3585325-1.html October 20, 2008.