NCPA - National Center for Policy Analysis


September 21, 2009

Dartmouth College researchers say Medicare spent $10,103 for each of its roughly 300,000 enrollees in the Dallas area in 2006 -- without counting the prescription drug benefit that took effect that year.  The national average was $8,304 per enrollee.

John C. Goodman, President, CEO and the Kellye Wright Fellow of the National Center for Policy Analysis, is among those who say the Dartmouth findings overstate medical spending in Texas and the possible national savings from curbing Medicare overuse.  The average amount spent for each Texan on medical care is well below the national average, Goodman notes.

  • Dartmouth researchers say their Medicare research shows Dallas is a high-spending area even by Texas standards; BlueCross BlueShield of Texas has found the same result among its insured customers.
  • U.S. health care spending will probably hit $2.5 trillion this year, or one in every six dollars spent in the economy; in 1990, health care took in one in eight dollars.

Peter Orszag, the White House budget director, says medical costs have already forced states to limit spending on higher education and other services.  "We are oriented toward more, rather than better, health care. That's one of the key things that has to change," he said.

Source: Jim Landers, "Dallas sees no relief in health care expenses as competition drives up costs," Dallas Morning News, September 20, 2009.


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