"Our Country!
In her intercourse with foreign nations may she always be in the right;
but right or wrong, our country!"

    --Commodore Stephen Decatur

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Share the Wealth, Part 2

In light of the passage of Obamacare, today we continue our series on the television commercials for the 2010 Census with hospitals.  According to the advertisement, an accurate census will make sure that everybody gets their "fair share."  This emphasis on government dependence is shocking, especially when we consider that 85% of hospitals in the United States are privately run.

Nevertheless, many patients at private hospitals still rely on government-run Medicare and Medicaid to cover the costs of their care.  These programs are funded from the Federal Insurance Contributions Act (FICA) payroll tax.  If we consult actual census data of grants to the states for Medicare and Medicaid, we see wildly different rates of return versus what the states pay in to the system, given a 2.9% flat tax for all personal income.

Indeed, aid to states was only 63.6% of FICA receipts on average.  The rest of the so-called "trust fund" is raided by Congress every year to pay for the ever-expanding federal bureaucracy.  Worse still, the payments to states seem to have no correlation to the number of hospitals or the number of hospital beds per capita.  Nor is greater funding allocated to states with large numbers of senior citizens.  Of the ten states with the largest percentage of people over the age of 65, only four received more in direct aid than the national average.

The biggest losers are Nevada, Colorado, and Virginia.  Each state gets back less than 30% of what they pay in payroll taxes.  Florida also gets honorable mention as the state with the largest proportion of elderly citizens at 17.4%, but only a 42% return on payroll tax revenues.  The biggest winners are Mississippi, New Mexico, West Virginia, and Maine, all with more than 100%.  However, the last of these two do have large elderly populations.  The state of Ohio is the closest to the national average, at 64.2%.

Click the map below to see where your state ranks!

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