The mantra about the dire consequences of a Baby Boom horde hitting retirement age continues unabated amongst the talking heads, on news programs, and in the media in general. As I indicated in the last post, aging per se isn’t a threat. However, corporations and industries such as the medical-industrial complex will take advantage of Medicare as well as Medicaid to rip off taxpayers.
I have been writing about and will continue writing about the cost of medical technology and implications of overpriced, overutilized, expensive medical equipment, device implants, pharmaceuticals, and so on and so forth, for health care reform. In my view, a gradual increase in the proportion of 65+ Americans from 13% to 20% by 2050 should be easily managed in a country with a $13 trillion GDP.
Furthermore, contrary to conventional wisdom, expensive technologies are not concentrated in the elderly population. Let’s take the left ventricle assist device (LVAD) implant procedure for former Vice President Cheney. According to a New York Times interview with, Dr. O. H. Frazier, leading surgeon in the LVAD implant procedure, of the 170 LVADs he has implanted, 24 of the patients were 65+, while 11 of that 24 were 70 or older. None of the patients receiving the device were older than 76. Check it out: “A New Pumping Device Brings Hope for Cheney,” New York Times/Science Times, Tuesday, July 20, 2010: http://www.nytimes.com/2010/07/20/health/20docs.html?_r=1&ref=health