Talk about Good News/Bad News! The "good" news: Health care costs in America ONLY increased by 4% in 2009. The "bad" news is that it now represents 17.6% of our nation's total economic output (GDP)! The jump of 1% from 2008 to 2009 was the largest one-year increase in 50 years of tracking the statistic.
More "good" news is that it probably would've been much worse if we hadn't been in a huge economic downturn during the year. With high unemployment and economic uncertainty many elective procedures were postponed and even necessary treatments delayed resulting in lower demand for medical services. Slowing demand effectively held down cost increases for the year.
Controlling health care costs is one of the biggest challenges facing America today.