By Peter Suderman | Reason
For the fourth year in a row, Medicare’s actuaries report that total national health spending—encompassing public and private payers—grew modestly in 2012, just 3.7 percent, with the share of the economy devoted to health spending falling slightly from 17.3 percent down to 17.2 percent. National health spending still grew, in other words, but the economy grew faster.
The White House spin, as in previous years, is that Obamacare deserves credit for restraining the nation’s health spending growth. But at the very least, it’s too early to tell. And there’s reason to believe that the lingering effects of the recession and other shifts in the health sector have far more to do with the slowdown than the health law.
“For years, healthcare costs in America skyrocketed, with brutal consequences for our country,” notes administration health policy deputy Jeanne Lambrew at the White House blog. But Obamacare, “for the first time in decades, has helped to stop the trend.”
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