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U.S. national health care spending increased 9.7 percent in 2020

(HealthDay)—National health care spending in 2020 increased 9.7 percent in the United States, according to a study published online Dec. 15 in Health Affairs.

Micah Hartman, from the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services in Baltimore, and colleagues examined national health care spending in 2020, focusing on the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The researchers found a 9.7 percent increase in U.S. health care spending in 2020 to reach $4.1 trillion; this rate was much higher than the 4.3 percent increase in 2019. The accelerated rate in 2020 was due to a 36.0 percent increase in federal expenditures for health care, which were mainly in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. At the same time, there was a 2.2 percent decrease in the gross domestic product; the share of the economy devoted to health care spending spiked, peaking at 19.7 percent. There was a decrease in the number of uninsured people in 2020, while significant shifts in the type of coverage were seen.

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