|By Christine Vestal, Stateline.org|
The nation's overall health care spending rate growth also hit an historic low. When all sectors were included, spending growth was only 3.9 percent in 2011, the same as in 2009 and 2010. That makes the three-year growth rate the slowest recorded since the data was first collected 52 years ago, according to an analysis of the data by
Although revenues grew slightly in 2011, states struggled to pay for their
The primary reason for
In addition, increases in
Slow growth in hospital spending also contributed to
Although overall health care expenditure increases were lower than in previous years, a few sectors saw accelerated spending. Growth in the private insurance market increased slightly, from 3.4 percent in 2010 to 3.8 percent in 2011, primarily because of higher enrollment. Overall spending on retail prescription drugs went up 2. 9 percent and physicians and clinical services expenditures increased by 4.3 percent.
The effect of the Affordable Care Act on the nation's slower health spending numbers was minimal, according to the Health Affairs article. About 2.7 million adults younger than 26 years old were allowed to remain on their parents' insurance policies, for example. But because most were relatively healthy, the spending increase was only slight.
The big question is whether three consecutive years of lower health care spending increases is an indication that
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|Source:||McClatchy-Tribune Information Services|