Business Class: Longer Lives and Lower Health Costs – Bloomberg

Business Class: Longer Lives and Lower Health Costs – Bloomberg.

One of the biggest questions in determining the future sustainability of our health-care system is this: Will the 21st century witness as large an increase in the average life expectancy of the rich countries — 30 to 40 years — as occurred during the last century?

Most experts believe it won’t. The middle estimate of the U.S. Census Bureau, for example, is that the increase in life expectancy between 2000 and 2050 will be only about seven years, and the estimated increase for the entire 21st century is just 13 years. This is less than half the increase that occurred during the 20th century. The same conservatism is evident in the projections of the United Nations, theOrganization for Economic Cooperation and Development, and other national and international agencies.

Yet there are persuasive arguments for a more optimistic view of the course of changes in health and longevity during this century. One of these arguments is based on the projection not of past changes in average life expectancy but of record life expectancy since 1840…

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