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Controlling healthcare spending, revisited

The New York Times, August 19, 2013
A hotly debated question among health policy wonks is whether the decline in the year-to-year growth in health spending in the United States, which started in 2002 (see Figure 1), will leave that growth rate at a permanently lower level. I had a blog post on this question in January 2012, drawing no conclusion but noting that over the longer term the growth rate just had to come down closer to the level of growth in gross domestic product. An intriguing question is what drives the fluctuations in the growth of health spending clearly visible in Figure 1. It was a topic at a recent symposium convened by the Altarum Center for Sustainable Health Spending.