Dec 19, 2018 - Health

The disparities in federal health care spending

Reproduced from GAO; Chart: Axios Visuals
Reproduced from GAO; Chart: Axios Visuals

We spend a little more than $4,000 per year for every Native American who gets care through the Indian Health Service — or more than three times less than what we spend on average for every person on Medicare, according to updated numbers in a Government Accountability Office report.

Why it matters: It's not surprising we spend a lot on Medicare beneficiaries, considering they are older, often have many chronic conditions or have life-altering disabilities. But this is a giant funding gap for Native Americans — who have high rates of alcoholism, suicide and diabetes, and who have been upset with care at IHS for years.

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