The New York Times, February 10, 2014

Lost in all the debate last week about whether or not the Affordable Care Act will hurt the economy is the fact that health care is already imposing a drag on growth. The health care sector has repeatedly helped to pull the economy from recession in recent decades, but this time around it is lagging behind the recovery. Health care spending grew more slowly than the economy in 2011 and 2012 and will probably be found to have done so again in 2013. Meanwhile, health care employment also expanded more slowly than overall employment last year — and the government estimates that in January employment actually shrank for only the second time since 1990.

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