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Growth in U.S. Health Spending Stayed Slow in 2010
Date:1/9/2012

ose significantly between 2007 and 2010, from 23 percent in 2007 to 29 percent in 2010 (nearly $743 billion). During that time, the share paid by state and local governments decreased from 18 percent to 16 percent (about $421 billion in 2010), according to the study.

The study also found that the share of the nation's health costs paid by private business declined from 25 percent in 2001 to 21 percent (almost $535 billion) in 2010. Job losses due to the recession resulted in much slower annual growth of employer contributions to private health insurance premiums and payroll tax-based employer contributions to the Medicare Hospital Insurance (Part A) Trust Fund between 2008 and 2010 than between 2000 and 2007.

The share of the nation's health costs paid for by households reached a historic low of 28 percent (about $726 billion) in 2010. After a negligible increase in 2009, household spending on health care rose just 2.8 percent in 2010, the study found.

Among the other findings:

  • Spending on private health insurance premiums increased 2.4 percent in 2010 to nearly $849 billion, compared with a 2.6 percent increase in 2009. Spending on private health insurance benefits totaled $746 billion in 2010, a 1.6 percent increase over 2009. That's the slowest rate of growth in the history of the National Health Expenditure Accounts.
  • Medicare spending totaled nearly $525 billion in 2010 and accounted for 20 percent of all national health spending. Total federal and state Medicaid spending reached more than $401 billion in 2010 and accounted for 15 percent of the national health care bill.
  • Spending on hospital care grew 4.9 percent in 2010 and totaled $814 billion. The rate of growth was 6.4 percent in 2009. The slower rate of growth in 2010 was partly due to patients postponing medical care.
  • Spending on physician and clinical services increased at a historic low of 2.5 percent in 2010 and totaled about $516 billion. The growth
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