Report: US health spending hits $3.5T but growth slows
WASHINGTON >> A government report says the nation’s health care tab hit $3.5 trillion last year, or $10,739 per person. But behind those staggering figures is some fairly good news:
• The rate of growth slowed for the second year in a row, economic experts at the federal Health and Human Services department reported Thursday.
• Health care spending increased by 3.9 percent in 2017, following a 4.8 percent increase in 2016.
• Private insurance spending grew more slowly in 2017, and so did Medicaid, and Medicare costs grew at about the same rate. The overall economy grew faster than health spending.
If moderate growth can be maintained, that would make the U.S. health care system more manageable for families, employers and government.
Coverage expansion and drug costs had earlier led to bigger spending increases.