According to the latest numbers, health spending came to $2.6 trillion in 2010. Compared to 2009, spending grew by 3.9%, which is almost the same rate as GDP. Stingier employers, cost-conscious patients and expiring drug-patents are some of the factors that offered slight hope that spending might be starting to taper off. New projections, however, shatter that hope. The figures, released June 12, indicate spending will grow modestly through 2013. In 2014, if the health reform law is upheld by the Supreme Court, spending will increase by 7.4%. Spending on health will hit $4.8 trillion by 2021—half of which will be paid for by the government as it foots the bill for more and more baby boomers and a bigger number of the poor.

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