Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Americans hit the brakes on health care spending from MSNBC

U.S. healthcare spending barely rose in 2010 from record-low recession levels, as high unemployment and the loss of private health insurance forced many Americans to delay or forego medical treatment, government officials said on Monday.

Spending edged up 3.9 percent, bringing the total size of the U.S. healthcare system to $2.6 trillion, or $8,402 per person, according to a report released by the U.S. Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, or CMS, and published in the journal Health Affairs.

Growth in 2010 was only a slim 0.1 percentage point higher than the 3.8 percent recorded in 2009, which was the lowest rate recorded in half a century. Per capita health spending in the United States is still the highest worldwide.

"It's absolutely clear what's going on," said William Galston of the Brookings Institution. "People's budgets have been hard-hit, and even if they have 20 percent co-pays from their insurance companies, that 20 percent may still be too much."

For the full article please go here.

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