About 71% of healthcare spending in California this year will be covered by taxpayers, according to a new report (PDF).
The study, published by the UCLA Center for Health Policy Research, found that of the $367 billion to be spent on healthcare in the state, about $260 billion will be from taxpayer dollars.
The figure slightly outpaces the national average. In 2015, taxpayers accounted for 65% of total healthcare spending nationally.
The majority of California taxes, 38%, will pay for Medi-Cal, the state's Medicaid program. Medicaid spending in California is higher than the rest of the nation, accounting for 27% of state spending compared to 17% nationally.
California taxpayers likely contribute more to Medi-Cal because of high enrollment in the program, said Dr. Gerald Kominski, lead author of the study and professor of health policy and management at UCLA. About 33% of California's population, or 11.9 million people, is enrolled in Medicaid.
In 2014, California expanded Medicaid to people who made 138% of the federal poverty level. That covered an additional 3 million people under Medi-Cal.
The report also found that 29% of taxpayer dollars will account for Medicare, 17% will account for tax subsidies for employer-sponsored insurance, 5% for government spending for public employee insurance, 4% for county health expenditures, and the rest will go toward other agencies like the Veterans Administration and the Affordable Care Act exchanges.
Kominski said the report breaks down the “myth” that insurance coverage is a private system. Government agencies are increasingly relied on to provide healthcare coverage, particularly Medicare as the baby boomers continue to retire, he added.
“A majority of Americans get their health insurance through their job,” Kominski said. “But the fact is that these other programs not only cover a significant portion of the population, but in the case of the Medicare program, spending per person is even higher because you're treating the oldest segment of the population.”