The New York Times, January 6, 2011

Total national health spending grew by 4% in 2009, the slowest rate of increase in 50 years, as people lost their jobs, lost health insurance and deferred medical care, the federal government reported on Wednesday. Still, healthcare accounted for a larger share of a smaller economy -- a record 17.6% of the total economic output in 2009, the report said. The economy contracted while health spending continued to grow. The nation spent $2.5 trillion on health care in 2009, for an average of $8,086 a person, and the recession had a profound influence.

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