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Health Spending Picking Up Again After Half-Decade Slowdown

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Almost $1 in every $5 of the nation's economy will be devoted to health-care spending by 2023, according to a new official projection that sees health costs once again accelerating this year after a half-decade of unusually slow growth. Expanded medical coverage from Obamacare, an aging population and a healthier economy all will contribute to faster health spending growth equal to an average rate of 5.7 percent per year over the decade from 2013 to 2023, federal officials said Wednesday. But that still is lower than the 7.2 percent average growth in health spending seen from 1990 to 2008, noted the actuaries from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, whose projections are being published in an article in the journal Health Affairs. And while the growth in health spending will continue to outpace the overall increase in GDP, it will do so at a lower rate than that seen in prior years, the National Health Expenditure Projections report found. The report said that health spending in 2013 is believed to have increased by 3.6 percent. But in 2014, health spending is estimated to be growing at a rate of 5.6 percent.


- Dan Mangan,

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