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States experimenting to lower health care costs

HEALTH CARE
Posted at 9:24 AM, Aug 28, 2013
and last updated 2013-08-28 09:24:00-04

SALEM, Ore. (AP) — As states work on implementing the complex federal health care reforms, some have begun tackling an issue that has vexed employers, individuals and governments at all levels for years — the rapidly rising costs of health care.

The success of models that are beginning to emerge across the country ultimately will determine whether President Barack Obama's Affordable Care Act can make good on its name.

It's too early to tell what will work and what will not, but states, insurers and medical groups are experimenting with a variety of programs to contain costs without undermining care.

The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services says U.S. health care spending reached $2.7 trillion in 2011, or $8,700 per person. The agency predicts spending will reach $14,000 per person by 2021.