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CMS: Healthcare Spending Grew at Slowest Rate in 50 Years in 2009

Cheryl Clark, for HealthLeaders Media, January 6, 2011

The authors conclude: "The economic recession that officially began in December 2007 and ended in June 2009 was the longest of all recessions since World War II.33 The health care sector felt its effects more quickly than was the case in past recessions, leading total national health spending in 2009 to grow at a historically low rate.

"Although the recession contributed greatly to slower health spending growth, the burden of financing health spending increased for households, businesses, and governments as the resources available to pay for that care declined.

"By the end of 2009, the United States was devoting just over one-sixth of its available financial resources to its health care system—a system that in 2010 embarked on an ambitious reform aimed at expanding coverage, improving health outcomes, and slowing spending growth."

Cheryl Clark is senior quality editor and California correspondent for HealthLeaders Media. She is a member of the Association of Health Care Journalists.

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