National Health Expenditures Jumped 5.7 Percent Last Year

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Last year despite the recession, national health care spending hit $2.5 trillion, a 5.7 percent jump from 2008, according to projections by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS). Increased health spending and decreased GDP combined to increase health care’s share of the economy by 1.1 percent – the biggest one-year jump since the government began tracking the numbers in 1960. According to CMS economists writing in the journal, Health Affairs. Health expenditures are estimated to have consumed 17.3 percent of GDP last year. As growing unemployment caused forced  more people to rely on Medicaid, public spending grew to 8.7 percent, or $1.2 trillion. At the same time private payers increases totaling $1.3 trillion, a 3 percent increase.  Health costs now equal 17 percent of the nation’s economy.  READ THE HEALTH AFFAIRS ARTICLE

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