Compared to what's going on with the GDP, health care spending is out of control. Still, a slowdown is a slowdown, even if it only means that the runaway train barrels along at, say, 85 miles per hour instead of 100 mph.
Spending growth per privately insured American pulled back in the first half of 2003. Spending increased by 8.5 percent, a significant drop from the 10-percent increase in the second half of 2002.
Of all the services, prescription drug spending slowed most. Moreover, half-year data indicate that 2003 is the first time since the mid–1990s that drug spending did not grow at double-digit rates.
SOURCES: MILLIMAN USA HEALTH COST INDEX; U.S DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE, BUREAU OF ECONOMIC ANALYSIS