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AN NBER PUBLICATION ISSUE: No. 2, June 2010

The Bulletin on Aging & Health

The high and rapidly rising cost of health care in the U.S. remains a critical issue. High costs burden the fed-eral budget due to the government's large role in providing health care through the Medicare and Medicaid pro-grams, which jointly make up 40 percent of the total U.S. health care market. High costs also make it difficult for individuals to afford health insurance. High costs are less of a cause of concern if health care is provided efficiently and generates...

Research Summaries

Article
The rise of obesity in the U.S. is a major public health concern. Nearly one in three adults were obese in the early 2000s, up from one in seven a quarter-century earlier. If current trends continue, the obesity rate will rise to over 40 percent by 2020. Obesity is linked to diseases such as diabetes, hypertension, and asthma and to premature mortality - if left unchecked, the rise in obesity threatens to reverse historical gains in life expectancy. The rise in obesity is...
Article
While virtually all Americans age 65 and above are covered by Medicare, they may nonetheless face significant out-of-pocket health care expenditures. Medicare includes numerous deductibles and copayments, and many people do not have a "medigap" policy to cover these costs. Home health care and nursing home expenditures must be paid for out-of-pocket, unless individuals are poor enough to qualify for Medicaid or have purchased an expensive long-term care insurance policy....

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