Growth chart with coins Health Affairs attributes the rise in insurance costs largely to the health insurance tax, which was suspended in 2017 but went back into effect in 2018. (Image: Shutterstock)

Health care spending grew last year but shrunk as a portion of overall spending.

A new analysis published in Health Affairs by Micah Hartman, a statistician in the CMS Office of the Actuary, finds that national health care spending increased by 4.6 percent in 2018 to $3.6 trillion, or 17.7 percent of the overall economy. That’s down from 17.9 percent the previous year.

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