What's more, for over 30 years, government program costs have grown at almost the same rate as overall health care costs--especially considering that they cover a sicker population pool (also from same report):
Which brings us back to the fundamental fact that US health care costs are drastically out of line with the rest of the world, as shown by this chart (I first posted in my April 2008 diary, "Medicare Myths--Don't Blame The Boomers"):
In short, it's not the government programs--Medicare and Medicaid--that are the problem, it's our entire medical sector that's badly out of whack compared to other advanced industrial countries. And this is the fundamental point that single-payer advocates virtually alone have focused on.
It should be noted that a single-payer system by itself would not solve the long-term problem shown here--only make it more manageable. But it would also give us better tools and political momentum toward achieving the added cost savings that would be needed.
In short, the entire debate over long-term federal debt is framed in terms of ignoring the most fundamental causes--the Bush-era policies that need to be completely reversed & repudiated, and the US medical system, that needs to be radically transformed.
That would be change we could believe in.