NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH
NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH

"Though Much is Taken" -- Reflections on Aging, Health, and Medical Care

Victor R. Fuchs

NBER Working Paper No. 1269
Issued in 1984
NBER Program(s):   HE

The Medicare trust funds face huge prospective deficits by the end of this decade.This paper discusses trends in six areas that bear on the Medicare problem: the number of the elderly, their health status, use of medical care, labor force participation, income, and living arrangements. Among the most important findings are: 1) a very large increase since 1965 in life expectancy at age 65; 2) a very large increase since 1976 in real per capita health care expenditures on the elderly relative to expenditures on persons under age 65; 3) a cross-sectional increase with age in per capita health care expenditures that is primarily attributable to very large expenditures in the last year of life; 4) a sharp decrease in labor force participation and a sharp increase in relative income of the elderly since 1965.The paper concludes by raising questions about the need to reconsider the definition of the elderly, the need for more flexible labor market arrangements for older workers, and a need for a social consensus concerning appropriate care of dying patients.

download in pdf format
   (477 K)

email paper

The NBER Bulletin on Aging and Health provides summaries of publications like this.  You can sign up to receive the NBER Bulletin on Aging and Health by email.

This paper is available as PDF (477 K) or via email.

Machine-readable bibliographic record - MARC, RIS, BibTeX

Document Object Identifier (DOI): 10.3386/w1269

Published: Fuchs, Victor R. "'Though Much Is Taken': Reflections on Aging, Health, and Medical Care." Milbank Memorial Fund Quarterly/Health and Society, Vol. 62, No. 2, (Spring 1984), pp. 143-166.

Users who downloaded this paper also downloaded these:
Cutler and Sheiner w6866 Demographics and Medical Care Spending: Standard and Non-Standard Effects
Cutler and Meara The Medical Costs of the Young and Old: A Forty-Year Perspective
Fuchs w6755 Health Care for the Elderly: How Much? Who Will Pay for It?
Deaton Income, Aging, Health and Well-Being around the World: Evidence from the Gallup World Poll
Case and Deaton w9821 Broken Down by Work and Sex: How Our Health Declines
 
Publications
Activities
Meetings
NBER Videos
Data
People
About

Support
National Bureau of Economic Research, 1050 Massachusetts Ave., Cambridge, MA 02138; 617-868-3900; email: info@nber.org

Contact Us