Stopping the perpetual rise in health care costs in the United States even during the Great Recession would be impossible.
But the climb did slow during President Barack Obama’s first term. A new report from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services showed that health care spending rose only 3.7 percent in 2012, the fourth consecutive year that the increase has been at near record lows, The Hill reports.
The U.S. economy grew faster than the rise in health care costs. The recession and its lingering effects played a role in keeping spending down.
But the White House also credits the slow rise to the Affordable Care Act, Obama’s signature legislation. In the past, health care spending has generally surpassed the economy’s growth.
Still, the health care tab is high. The report found that health care spending in the U.S. hit $2.8 trillion in 2012, The Associated Press reports. Health care accounted for 17.2 percent of the economy, down from 17.3 percent in 2011.
It amounted to $8,915 for every man, woman and child, which far surpasses other developed nations.