A new report suggests health care spending is on the rise – justnot as fast as the administration says it is.

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National health spending in March 2014 grew 7.1 percent overMarch 2013, according to a report out from the AltarumInstitute.

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That’s about 3 percent less than the 10 percent figure the Obamaadministration touted last month. The Obama administration usedthat figure from the Bureau of Economic Analysis, saying it’s proofthat the Patient Protection and Affordable is working and helpingthe health care industry.

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The administration said a 10 percent growth is favorable as itimplies more people, now covered under Obamacare, are gettingtreated and using health care services.

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The Altarum Institute said health spending is on the rise,likely the result of a recovering economy. Growth in healthspending has been unusually slow for the past fewyears. Altarum's report noted that health care spending aspart of the gross domestic product reached an all-time high of 17.9percent in March, and that the health care industry added 18,700jobs in April.

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Meanwhile, health care prices in March grew 1.1 percentyear-over-year, while hospital prices grew 1.3 percent, the reportsaid.

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Charles Roehrig, director of the Altarum Institute’s Center forSustainable Health Spending, said health spending isn’t on a 10percent growth path for 2014.

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“Health spending growth rates have increased rapidly in recentmonths, but the 7.1 percent figure observed for March may well markthe end of this acceleration,” Roehrig said. “This is because of aleveling off in the numbers of newly insured under the AffordableCare Act. The 10 percent annualized growth rate for the firstquarter of 2014 that has received recent media coverage is basedupon comparison to the preceding quarter and is not an indicator ofannual growth for 2014 as a whole.”

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