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The Bulletin on Aging & Health

The number of adults receiving Disability Insurance (DI) benefits has risen dramatically in recent years, from 2.3% of adults aged 25 to 64 in 1985 to 4.3% in 2005. Today there are 6.5 million disabled workers on the DI rolls. Benefit payments to these beneficiaries and their dependents are nearly $80 Billion per year, with an additional $45 Billion in annual spending on their medical care through the Medicare program. Many factors have been explored as possible...

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Tobacco use is the leading preventable cause of death in the U.S., causing more than 400,000 deaths per year. Smoking related medical expenditures are estimated at over $75 Billion per year, much of which is paid for by government health care programs such as Medicare and Medicaid. In its Healthy People 2010 report, the Department of Health and Human Services set a goal of cutting the prevalence of smoking among U.S. adults in half, from the 1999 level of 24% to 12%....
Health care expenditures have been growing much more rapidly than income in the U.S. and other developed countries for some time. In the U.S., for example, health care expenditures as a share of GDP have tripled since 1950, from 5% then to 15% today. Less well understood are the causes of this dramatic increase in particular, how much of the rise is due to an aging population and how much is due to rising expenditures per person at a given age. This distinction is...

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