It is a sweeping trend that should mean bigger paychecks for middle-class households and hundreds of billions of dollars in savings for the government. Yet only one in 20 Americans is aware of it. Nationally, spending on health care is growing at the slowest pace ever recorded. Annual spending on health care often grew more than 10 percent a year during the 1970s and '80s. Growth dipped in the 1990s, only to rise again, but starting in the early 2000s, the rate began falling. It is now just about 4 percent a year.