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US health care tab hits $3.2T; fastest growth in 8 years

The nation’s health care tab grew at the fastest rate in eight years in 2015, driven by the coverage expansion in President Barack Obama’s law and by costly prescription drugs, the government said Friday.

The growth of 5.8 percent in 2015 boosted total health care spending to $3.2 trillion. That’s an average of $9,990 per person, although the vast share of that money is spent caring for the sickest patients.

Health spending grew about 2 percentage points faster than the overall economy in 2015, said the report from nonpartisan economic experts at the Department of Health and Human Services. That’s a problem because it makes it harder for government programs, employers, and individuals to afford the level of health care that Americans are used to having.

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