Now it is nearly one-third, at $1.3 trillion."
Samuelson goes on to observe:
Government can't cut health spending, so new spending reduces spending on other programs, raises taxes or bloats deficits. The effects are felt keenly by middle-income Americans and the poor, because the high cost of modern medicine consumes more of their incomes. We have created a monster, inspired by good intentions, that is slowly and menacingly taking charge of our future.
Unfortunately, Samuelson doesn't wrap up his article with the obvious conclusion: that the only possible solution to America's healthcare crisis lies with repealing Medicare and Medicaid and, in a larger context, ending all governmental involvement in healthcare.
Before Medicare and Medicaid, the United States had the finest healthcare system in history. Healthcare costs were low and stable, to such an extent that most people didn't even have major-medical insurance. That's because they didn't need it. Going to the doctor was like going to the grocery store. How many people have grocery insurance to protect them from soaring grocery prices? That's why they didn't need major medical insurance. Healthcare costs were just as low and stable as grocery store prices.