A lot, it turns out.
Our office ran some numbers for Washington state, tallying the number of people getting health care under Medicare, Medicaid, the state's Basic Health Plan, and the state's General Assistance for the Unemployable program.
Medicare and Medicaid are the big ones, of course. Here in Washington, our office calculates that as of the end of 2008, some 917,000 Washingtonians get health coverage through Medicaid. Another 897,000 get it through Medicare. Add in BHP and GA-U, and it's about 1.93 million people, out of a total state population of about 6.67 million.
In other words, about 29 percent of the state's population is getting their health coverage under a government-run plan.
And these numbers don't include the people who get their health care through the military, state employees' Uniform Medical Plan, federal employees' health coverage, etc.