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2009's health spending rise lowest in 50 years

2009's health spending rise lowest in 50 years (by Steve Goldstein)

WASHINGTON (MarketWatch) -- Health care spending in 2009 grew 4% to $2.5 trillion, or $8,086 per person, the slowest rate of growth in the 50-year history of the National Health Expenditure Accounts, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services Office of the Actuary said on Thursday. The CMS said the slowdown in spending was mostly due to the recession, which led to slower growth in private health insurance expenditures and out-of-pocket spending by consumers, and to a reduction in capital investments. Health spending as a proportion of GDP grew to 17.6%, up 1 percentage point, which is the largest one-year rise.