In 2009 the health share of gross domestic product (GDP) is expected to have increased 1.1 percentage points to 17.3 percent – the largest single-year increase since 1960, according to a report published by CMS in the Feb. 4 edition of  Health Affairs and described in the Washington Post.  Health care spending is estimated to have grown 5.7 percent in 2009 to reach $2.5 trillion, compared with health care spending growth of 4.4 percent in 2008 and 6 percent in 2007.

The CMS article reported that health spending by government programs, primarily Medicare and Medicaid, is projected to have grown by 8.7 percent, which would account for $1.2 trillion of the overall 2009 spending. Employer-based health insurance and private spending is projected to have grown by 3 percent, accounting for the remaining $1.3 trillion.