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U.S. Health Care Spending Continues Slow Growth

01/10/13

  11:07:14 am, by MedBen5   , 188 words,  
Categories: News, Health Plan Management

U.S. Health Care Spending Continues Slow Growth

National health spending growth remained low for the third consecutive year, The New York Times reports. The Obama administration said Monday that spending rose $2.7 trillion in 2011, or an average of $8,700 per American.

The 3.9% rate of increase in health spending was the same as in 2009 and 2010 – the lowest three-year trend since the government started collected such data in 1959. Drug spending grew faster in 2011 than the year before, while hospital care spending grew more slowly, according to federal officials.

Kathleen Sebelius, the secretary of health and human services, said that “the statistics show how the Affordable Care Act is already making a difference,” saving money for consumers. But a report issued by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, in her department, said that the law had so far had “no discernible impact” on overall health spending and that the influence of provisions that have already taken effect “was minimal.”

Micah B. Hartman, a statistician at the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, attributes the slow growth to a reduction in the number of people with private health insurance as well as lower household incomes due to the recession.

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