Health spending grows at lowest rate in over 50 years in 2013

December 3, 2014 9:48 PM

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Health spending grows at lowest rate in over 50 years in 2013

But since 2009, healthcare spending has been growing at historically low levels annually, never hitting above 4.1 percent. The 3.6 percent growth in 2013 was the lowest ever recorded since CMS started tracking numbers in 1960, according to Micah Hartman, a statistician in the Office of the Actuary. Annual healthcare spending grew at an average rate of 7.2 percent over the 1990 to 2008 time frame.

The slowdown in health costs in recent years has triggered a fierce debate within the healthcare policy community. Some argue the trend can be explained mainly by the sluggish economy, in which Americans, especially those who lost their jobs and their insurance, cut back on medical spending, while o...

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