Seen a lot of sliver foxes running around lately? That's because the population of folks in the US over 100 has nearly doubled since 2000. If the candle-blowing continues like this, within 40 years, it could exceed one million. A million people over 100. Slate has a piece examining the cause and effect of great medical care — people live longer, and consequently require more and more care for many years longer than the Medicare system was equipped to handle — like one woman who received a $35,000 pacemaker the month before her 100th birthday.
Living long is fantastic, but it raises a question: Would the health care money be better spent on younger patients? The piece makes the argument that health is like wealth. Some people are blessed with it, and some aren't — and it floats this theory:
Just as some people have enough money, others have had enough time. If you make it to 100 and can fund your own surgery, that's terrific. But Medicare should focus its resources on people who haven't been as lucky as you. Living to 99 is no tragedy. It's a blessing.
Should there be an age consideration for patients to receive spendy medical procedures for those who've lived good, long lives?