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Health Care Spending To Top $4 Trillion By 2017

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WASHINGTON - By 2017, consumers and taxpayers will spend more than $4 trillion on health care, accounting for one of every $5 spent, the federal government projects.

The 6.7 percent annual increase in spending — nearly three times the rate of inflation— will be largely driven by higher prices and an increased demand for care, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services said Monday. But other factors in the mix include a growing and aging population. The first wave of baby boomers become eligible for Medicare beginning in 2011.


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