It is a good news bad news story. In 2008, we just learned, health spending in the United States slowed to its slowest rate in almost 50 years. That's the good part. The bad part is that, even at this relatively slow rate, it still amounted to $7,681 per person, the highest of any industrialized country in the World. Click on the chart below from Kaiser Foundation to get a sense of how much higher we are than other countries (and note: this is from 2007 when we were below $7,000!). The other bad news is that health spending has increased as a percentage of GDP and the probable reason for the decline in 2008 is that people who have lost jobs (and insurance) are choosing to avoid or defer needed healthcare. You can read the full Health Affairs story here.