Medicaid Spending Passes Education Spending

Welcome to the welfare state…

WASHINGTON – States now spend more on health care for the poor than they do on elementary and secondary education, a policy group said Thursday in its annual review of efforts to deal with the growing problem of the uninsured. The states spent 21.9 percent of their revenue on Medicaid in fiscal year 2004. Elementary and second education consumed about 21.5 percent of states’ budgets. Higher education came in at a distant third, 10.5 percent.

“Today, Medicaid accounts for the largest and fastest growing category of state expenditures,” said the State Coverage Initiatives program, which provides technical support to help states broaden health insurance coverage.

Consider those numbers for a moment: We are now spending more money on entitlements for people who can’t (or won’t) work to afford their own health care then we are on preparing our children so that they can work and earn money in the job market. Which isn’t to imply that we need to spend more on education. Clearly, the quality of education in this country is not tied to funding problems. Rather, this is just an indication of our skewed priorities.

I mean, talk about solutions that create more problems. For the last couple of decades our politicians have passed entitlement after entitlement to “help the poor/disadvantaged” while steadiliy increasing the tax burden on Americans who are able to make their own way in the world without government assistance. Yet as that burden has increased more and more Americans are in need of government assistance.

Soon, if this trend continues, we’ll all be working just so that we can hand our paychecks over to bureaucrats for re-distribution back to us in the form of entitlements like “free” health care and “free” prescription drugs.

You can read more from Rob Port at

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