Health costs - seniors not the main driver

A recent report from the Congressional Research Service (CRS) concludes that the increase in health care costs comes from demand from all age groups, not just the elderly. The report notes:
...population aging is itself a relatively minor factor in the growth of national spending for health care. Other factors, including rising per capita income, the availability of new health care products and services, health insurance coverage, and characteristics of the health care system, play a much bigger role.
However, even if aging has a minor impact on national health spending, it will have a larger impact on federal spending because of growth in costs and enrollment in Medicare.

Health Care Spending and the Aging of the Population, CRS Report RS22619 (pdf, 6pp/80kB, from Open CRS), March 13, 2007

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Anonymous z54 said...

Seniors are a growing demand on healthcare costs.

Compared to 50 years ago, people are living longer. With more people living well into their senior years, the senior segment of the population is the most rapidly growing.

With an increased number of people who are of an age where they require more medical treatment, this does increase the demand on healthcare costs.

Since the youth of the population is not growing at the same rate and the seniors, this is more straining on the resources available to be pooled (provided by the younger, working population).

We have not seen a strain, however, on available resources like what we will see.

One of the advantages afforded the senior population today was the ability to set something aside for retirement. With so many companies dropping retirement plans and downsizing employees before they can earn retirement, an ever increasing segment of the population could also become a more needy segment of the population.

Hopefully healthcare will be able to advance to where someone can be afforded, not just longer years, but an improved and maintained enjoyment of those years.


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