Skip to:
  1. Main navigation
  2. Main content
  3. Footer
Economic Commentary

The Government's Role in the Health Care Industry: Past, Present, and Future

In 1965, Congress enacted Medicare and Medicaid to ensure that poor and elderly Americans would not be denied access to health care. In that year, 5.9 percent of the nation’s total output was spent on medical services. By 1992, this share had soared to approximately 14 percent, and by the year 2000, it is projected to reach almost 19 percent. The growing fraction of the economy devoted to health care is one reason why many advocate a major overhaul of the current system.

The views authors express in Economic Commentary are theirs and not necessarily those of the Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland or the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System. The series editor is Tasia Hane. This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License. This paper and its data are subject to revision; please visit clevelandfed.org for updates.

Suggested Citation

Carlstrom, Charles T. 1994. “The Government's Role in the Health Care Industry: Past, Present, and Future.” Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland, Economic Commentary 6/1/1994.