Provide, Provide: The Economics of Aging
Data from the Bureau of the Census, the Health Care Financing Administration, the NBER Tax File and the Current Population Survey are used to estimate for the elderly (ages 65 and above) consumption of health care and income available for other goods and services in 1975, 1985, and 1995. Extrapolation of 1975-1995 and 1985-1995 trends are used to obtain projections for 2020. Even the more conservative projection shows that in 2020 health care for the elderly would consume 10 percent of the GDP, and income available for other goods and services would show an absolute decline from the 1995 level. Changes in age-specific consumption of health care are found to be much more important than demographic changes. Income inequality among the elderly in 1995 is found to be much less than at younger ages.
Rettenmaier, Andrew J. and Thomas R. Saving (eds.) Medicare reform: Issues and answers, Bush School Series in the Economics of Public Policy, vol. 1. Chicago and London: University of Chicago Press, 1999.