Health Care Spending Held In Check For 3 Consecutive Years

WASHINGTON (January 7, 2013)--The government says Americans kept health care spending in check for three consecutive years, but it’s an unusual respite, because health care usually surges ahead of overall economic growth.

It’s not clear if the trend will continue.

It could fade if jobs come roaring back as the economy recovers.

The nation's health care tab stood at $2.7 trillion in 2011, the latest year available, nonpartisan number crunchers with the Health and Human Services Department said Monday.

That's 17.9 percent of the economy, or $8,680 for every man, woman and child, far more than any economically advanced country spends, but it was the third straight year of historically low increases.

The 3.9 percent rise meant that health care costs grew in line with the overall economy, which is considered affordable.

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