Los Angeles Times, May 6, 2014

You may have thought the headline number from last week's report on the U.S. economy was its weak overall growth in the first quarter of this year (0.1% at an annual rate). But for health economists, the big news was the huge surge in household healthcare spending. That popped at an annual rate of 9.9%, the sharpest growth since 1980. It makes obvious sense to attribute the surge to the Affordable Care Act, which kicked into full gear in the January-March period measured by the Bureau of Economic Analysis figures. Yet healthcare experts are pondering the figure with suspicion and perplexity.

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