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Health Aff (Millwood). 1999 Jan-Feb;18(1):11-21.

Health care for the elderly: how much? Who will pay for it?

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Stanford University.


Health care expenditures on the elderly tend to grow about 4 percent per year more rapidly than the gross domestic product (GDP). This could plunge the nation into a severe economic and social crisis within two decades. This paper describes recent growth in age/sex-specific health care utilization by the elderly and discusses the important role of technology in that growth. It also explores the potential for the elderly to pay for additional care through increases in work and savings. Efforts to "save Medicare" will prove to be "too little, too late" unless they are embedded in broader policy initiatives that slow the rate of growth of health care spending and/or increase the income of the elderly.

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