We often hear about a program in the government known as Medicare. Although it is probably one of the most discussed programs it is also one of the least understood. The program was created in 1965 as a way to help take care of those who are over the age of 65 or those who have met special criteria to have entered the program. It is a way to help provide health care coverage to senior citizens in a single payer system. This means that there are taxes paid into the system and the government uses those taxes to pay for the health care needs of those on Medicare.
Considering that Medicare is a federal program that is paid for by the taxes of all citizens, it is no wonder that many people wonder how much this program effects them. The easiest way to find this out on an individual basis is to look at your tax information during tax season. This information will be able to tell you how much you personally have paid into the program, along with how much you have paid into other federal programs (such as social security).
It is difficult to nail down the exact dollar figure of the average cost per citizen for this health care program. What we do know is the percentage of GDP (Gross Domestic Product) that Medicare makes up. Currently the latest numbers show that the program takes up about 5% of the Gross Domestic Product. However, the projections show that Medicare will begin to take up an increasing percentage of the GDP in the coming century based partly on an aging population. Expect to pay more towards this program in the future.