What I don't get about this thinking is: why does it apply to healthcare but not anything else in life?
The cost of public education comes out of our taxes, so why aren't people saying that we should all have to pay for our own elementary and high school education?
Same goes for police departments, fire departments, courts, prisons, city maintenance, public housing, income benefits etc. Those are all universal, so why not healthcare?
As it is, 22% of US income tax already goes towards healthcare, yet hardly anyone sees any benefits from it (i.e. most people need insurance as well because they don't qualify for Medicare/Medicaid) and even if they do, they usually still have to pay something towards their healthcare.
In the UK, only 20% of income tax goes on healthcare, yet you get all the benefits from it... all your healthcare is free, and everyone else's healthcare is free too.
From an article showing where US taxes currently go (http://www.ibtimes.com/10-biggest-programs-your-income-taxes-pay-1216631):
- 25% on defence/military
- 22.5% on healthcare
- 17% on income security
- 8% on national debt interest
- 4.5% on veteran's benefits
- 3% on education
- 2% on law enforcement/immigration
And in the UK (https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/how-public-spending-was-calculated-in-your-tax-summary/how-public-spending-was-calculated-in-your-tax-summary):
- 25% on welfare (benefits and state pensions)
- 20% on healthcare
- 12% on education
- 5% on national debt interest
- 5% on defence
- 4% on public order and safety
Healthcare has always been left to the individual here in the US. It's not a right, it's a money making enterprise. You've had to seen all the medication ads that air on TV, that never happens in the UK!
And there are people who think that way. I'm from a smaller town in the US, 150,000 people, and it's got a high population of older, retired people. They always voted down any and all increased tax spending to go towards schools or renovations for the public library. They didn't currently have children themselves and didn't use the library so why should their money go towards those things?
Pretty much, the majority of the population of the US thinks, 'how does this benefit me?' And not, 'How would this make where I live a better place?'
And people see infrastructure and police, fire, and emergency services as required and they want them in place for if/when they need them. So funding is rarely an issue when it comes to tax dollar allocation there.
Your information for the US breakdown of income tax spending is from 2013 and that's really outdated. The most recent info we can get right now is for 2015, check out the below. Healthcare, with the ACA, has increased to over 28%.http://money.cnn.com/2016/04/18/pf/taxes/how-are-tax-dollars-spent/
The average household paid $13,000 in income taxes to Uncle Sam for 2015. Of that, the federal government spent:
$3,728.92 (or 28.7%) on health programs
$3,299.13 (or 25.4%) on the Pentagon and the military
$1,776.06 (or 13.7%) on interest on the debt
$1,040.93 (or 8%) on unemployment and labor programs
$771.26 (or 5%) on veterans benefits
$598.74 (or 4.6%) on food and agriculture programs
$461.59 (or 3.6%) on education programs
$377.50 (or 2.9%) on government expenses
$250.03 (or 1.9%) on housing and community programs
$207.68 (or 1.6%) on energy and environmental programs
$194.29 (or 1.5%) on international affairs programs
$150.68 (or 1.2%) on transportation funding
$143.20 (or 1.1%) on science funding
This info below is old info and I don't feel like doing an in depth search right now.
In 2011, according to the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS), there were 70.4 million people who enrolled in Medicaid for at least one month. There were also 48.849 million people enrolled in Medicare.
US population in 2011 was, 311.7 million. That's 22% of the population who had signed up for Medicaid, the program for low income people. That's no small number! Some of those people will also be signed up for Medicare, the program (generally) for over 65's.
People don't have health insurance because they can't qualify for Medicaid. They have Medicaid because they can't afford health insurance or to be able to afford to go to the doctor without it.