Published In: Journal of the American Geriatrics Society, Vol. 48, no. 8, Aug. 2000, Editorial, p. 1017-1018
Posted on rand.org 2000
Even if you jog, eat carefully, and have lucky genes, you will eventually get sick and die. This simple fact evades the consciousness of most Americans. We are even more surprised when we find that get sick and die, which once covered no more than a few weeks, now often goes on for years. Forty years ago, Medicare's debates focused on older people who could not save up enough for surgeries. Medicare solved that problem. However, we did not address the needs of growing numbers of Americans who will live for long periods of time with seriously disabling and eventually fatal illnesses.