In his Washington Post column Michael Gerson told readers that health care costs increased at the fastest rate in 10 years in the last quarter of 2013. His source lists the growth rate of expenditures (not costs) at 5.6 percent in the quarter. This follows very slow growth in the prior three quarters. By comparison, health care spending grew by 6.7 percent over the whole year in 2007. There may well have been quarters more recently in which the growth rate exceeded 5.7 percent (the quarterly data are erratic), but clearly the claim that the fourth quarter growth rate was a ten-year high is obviously not true.

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