America's Demographic Cliff: The Real Issue In The Coming, And All Future Presidential Elections

Tyler Durden's picture

In four months the debate over America's Fiscal cliff will come to a crescendo, and if Goldman is correct (and in this case it likely is), it will probably be resolved in some sort of compromise, but not before the market swoons in a replica of the August 2011 pre- and post-debt ceiling fiasco: after all politicians only act when they (and their more influential, read richer, voters and lobbyists) see one or two 0's in their 401(k)s get chopped off. But while the Fiscal cliff is unlikely to be a key point of contention far past December, another cliff is only starting to be appreciated, let alone priced in: America's Demographic cliff, which in a decade or two will put Japan's ongoing demographic crunch to shame, and with barely 2 US workers for every retired person in 2035, we can see why both presidential candidates are doing their darnedest to skirt around the key issue that is at stake not only now, be every day hence.

Sadly, the market which due to central-planner meddling, has long lost its discounting capabilities, and is now merely a reactive mechanism, will ignore this biggest threat to the US financial system until it is far too late. After all it is the unsustainability of America's $100+ trillion in underfunded welfare liabilities that is the biggest danger to preserving the American way of life, and will be the sticking point in the presidential election in 80 days. However, don't expect either candidate to have a resolution to the demographic catastrophe into which America is headed for one simple reason. There is none. 

The problem in a nutshell: the first wave of Baby Boomers, born between the years of 1946 and 1964, officially reached retirement age in 2011. There are a whole lot of Baby Boomers - just under 76 million, to be exact - that will depend on new money flowing into the system to help keep the entitlements coming. According to the latest Social Security and Medicare Board of Trustees 2012 Annual Reports Social Security now pays out more than it takes in, and is expected to do so for the next 75 years. 

And while the market, and its "discounting" may now be largely irrelevant, those who care to be educated about the facts behind America's Demographic Cliff, here is ConvergEx and "Talkin' 'bout your generation"

According to the Census Bureau’s Current Population Survey, about 40.2 million people – 13% of the entire US population – are 65 years or older and eligible to receive government entitlements such as Medicare and Social Security. At current levels, spending on these entitlements make up about 8.7% of GDP – about $1.3 trillion. While this may sound sustainable over the short term, in coming years the amount of entitlement outlays necessary to keep up with retiring Baby Boomers is going to send spending through the roof. By 2030, for example, a full 19.3% of the population will be claiming SSI and Medicare benefits, based on the Census Bureau’s population projections (the CB uses an adjustment factor for the age cohorts based on mortality rates, foreign-born immigration, and life expectancy). For simplicity’s sake, here’s a decade-by-decade look at where the aging population – and expenditures – will be in the years to come, courtesy of the Census Bureau and the Congressional Budget Office (CBO):

  • In 1900, 4.1% of the US population was 65+. By 1950, this number had almost doubled to 8.1%. As the chart following the text shows, the Baby Boomers (now ages 48-66) represent the most significant population wave in US history. According to the CBO, the population aged 65 and over will increase by 87% over the next 25 years as Baby Boomers enter retirement, compared to an increase of only 12% in those aged 20-64.
  • This year, 13% of the US population is 65+ and entitlement spending accounts for 8.7% of GDP. And that number only includes SSI and Medicare, not Medicaid and future Obamacare subsidies which add to these outlays.
  • In 10 years (2022): 16.1% of the population will be 65+, entitlement spending estimated at 9.6% ($1.5 trillion, based on 2011 US GDP)
  • 2037 (25 years on): 20 % of the US population will be 65+, entitlement spending estimated at 12.2% of GDP ($2.0 trillion)
  • Not surprisingly, there will be far more women than men in the 65+ population. Women currently live about five years longer than their male peers, on average. Accordingly, the Census Bureau estimates that in 2030, there will be about 8 million more women than men that are 65 and older by 2030: 27.8 million versus 35.7 million.

It’s a pretty tough picture, to say the least; as the population ages, we’re looking at more and more money dedicated to retirement benefits with a smaller workforce to fund the spending. We’re not the only ones, either: Japan is in worse shape than the US, with 23.1% of the population already over 65. In 2050, government statistics forecast that number to be 39.6%. Europe’s in the same boat: 17.4% of the population in EU countries was 65+ in 2010, and it’s expected to be about 30% by 2060. The developed world, essentially, is facing a demographic “Fiscal cliff” with no clear-cut strategies for how to fund the liabilities inherent in an entirely predictably aging population

Are there any social positives that might mitigate this plethora of indisputable financial concerns?  The math is the math, as quants are fond of saying, so I don’t expect that there are overwhelming offsets to the problem of an aging population.  But there are some notable “Positives” which don’t get the attention they deserve because they offer such a lightweight counterbalance to the challenges I outlined above.  Still, here are a few thoughts:

  1. Stronger voter turnout/greater engagement in the political process. The 65+ age group has beaten out every other age cohort in voter turnout in every Presidential and Congressional election since 1980. In the latest presidential election, 68.1% of those aged 65+ went to the polls, versus and average of 51.2% for the rest of the voting-age population. The reason for this differential is straightforward: it easier for retired persons to vote given fewer time restrictions, allowing the higher turnout rate. But given an average turnout of 58.2% overall in 2008 for Obama’s election, compared to an average of 70-80% in other developed countries (Japan, Germany, Canada, Spain), the growing 65+ population will certainly help the U.S. come closer to its developed country peers on this metric.

    The stronger turnout of these voters, and their sheer numbers, are also likely to have an important impact on US political races in the years to come. They’re going to be the biggest voting bloc in American history, if patterns hold: 68% of them is almost 52 million, larger than the entire Black/African American voter population, for example. And like other older generations, according to a study by the Pew Research Center done in late 2011, Boomers have become slightly more conservative as they’ve aged, and slightly more of them (45% vs. 51%) intend to vote for Governor Romney in the upcoming election. However, given that one of their main concerns is the maintenance of entitlement spending, it seems unlikely that Boomers will continue to support a party that recommends reducing the deficit by cutting entitlements. All candidates, then, and especially the GOP, will need to take a hard look at the wants and needs of the Boomers. The 2012 Presidential election – and many others afterwards - will quite literally depend on their votes. 

  2. Lower crime rates. The younger population is by far the more crime-prone age cohort, according to the Department of Justice and the FBI Uniform Crime report. The DOJ publishes an annual report on arrests by age, the first occurring in 1980 and the latest in 2009. Over these years, the number of total arrests has increased by 30.9% for the entire population; for the 65+ population, it’s gone up 0.3%. Moreover, the Baby Boomer generation (in 2009, ages 45-53) accounted for only about 7% of all crimes. What were their most “Popular” crimes? Drunkeness and DUI. Violent crimes are almost exclusively the MO of the 18-29 cohort, who account for almost half (44%) of all arrests. It’s not too far of a stretch, then, to think that as our population ages, we can expect less and less violent crime across the country – though you may want to be careful on the roads.
  3. Lower resource consumption. The older population tends to cut down on resource consumption after retirement, particularly in the case of gasoline. Once they no longer need to commute to work and move into smaller, more affordable houses, the amount of fuel needed for transportation and heating/cooling should drop, perhaps significantly.

    Take motor gasoline usage as a benchmark. Just under 60 million Baby Boomers consider themselves a part of the labor force, according to BLS data. 85% of all Americans drive to work, according to a late 2010 Gallup poll, with an average commute of 30 miles round-trip – about 45 minutes – and an average of 20mpg (courtesy of the Bureau of Transportation Statistics). Using these estimates, we can calculate that the average Baby Boomer commuter uses about 33 gallons of gas each month; assuming that 85% of them drive every day, that’s about 1.7 billion gallons of gas being used per month.  As they retire, there are actually fewer new entrants into the workforce to replace them, meaning fewer drivers and less fuel consumption.

  4. Growing domestic service economy. An older population becomes more and more dependent on services as they age, particularly in the realms of healthcare and transportation. More and more people will be needed to fill the void in these service areas as the Boomers retire. Luckily for the US workforce, these are jobs that can’t be outsourced: healthcare especially depends on on-site care and personal service.

    In fact, as the population has begun to age, the US has already seen some steady growth in service-related positions. The BLS’s Occupational Employment data logs the number of occupations across the US in major industry sectors as well as almost 800 detailed occupations. According to the survey, the US has seen a -3.3% drop in job growth overall. Healthcare and “Personal Care”, however, have grown 13% and 11% each since that year. Occupations such as physician’s assistants, pharmacy technicians, and home health aides are in high demand, and will most likely continue to be so as the population ages and begins to rely more heavily on these services.

  5. Declining unemployment and increased labor force participation for this segment of the workforce. One of the most unique aspects of today’s aging population is their continued presence in the workforce. According to the BLS, 23.4% of Americans age 65+ were in the labor force as of June 2012, making up a full 4.5% of the total civilian labor force. They also had a below-average unemployment rate of 6.9%. If this trend continues, we’re likely to see more productivity from the upper end of the age spectrum in years to come as Boomers delay retirement in favor of working.

    On the flip side, as more of the aging population retires and leaves the workforce, more job opportunities will open up for those who are currently unemployed. The youngest members of the workforce, ages 18-24, will be the biggest beneficiaries of this shift, as they typically seek the same kind of jobs that the older population currently occupies. When these positions are vacated by the older group, then, and refilled by the younger groups, we may see a decline in youth unemployment rates.

    The older workforce also opens an interesting opportunity for some employers. The younger half of the Baby Boomer generation is tech-savvy, experienced, and definitely needs the money. This set of skills won’t go unnoticed in the labor market.

Unfortunately, these societal “benefits” are only a thin silver lining on a very, very dark cloud. Social Security and Medicare spending are projected to grow exponentially as healthcare costs explode and the biggest population wave in the history of the US starts to enter retirement. The Congressional Budget Office expects spending to increase by 150% over the next 25 years, which is hardly sustainable with barely 2 workers for every retired person in 2035... there’s a storm a comin’

Sources here:

http://www.cbo.gov/sites/default/files/cbofiles/attachments/06-05-Long-Term_Budget_Outlook.pdf
http://www.census.gov/prod/2010pubs/p25-1138.pdf
http://www.census.gov/compendia/statab/cats/elections/voting-age_population_and_voter_participation.html
http://www.eia.gov/dnav/pet/pet_cons_wpsup_k_w.htm
http://www.bls.gov/emp/ep_table_304.htm
http://www.bts.gov/publications/national_transportation_statistics/html/table_04_23.html
http://www.openleft.com/diary/13242/the-future-of-the-electorate-age-and-party-id
http://www.people-press.org/files/legacy-pdf/11-3-11%20Generations%20Release.pdf
http://www.bjs.gov/index.cfm?ty=datool&surl=/arrests/index.cfm#

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Totentänzerlied's picture

""The really old people grew up with real food and some decent personal values." That is bullshit, sorry, they are every bit as obese and unhealthy as anyone else. How many are not blowing through medicare at a rate of $1000s per month on -antidepressants -aides -anti-hyper/anti-hyoptensives -statins -sleeping pills -diuretics -pacemakers -artificial joints -mobility aids -glucose stabilizers -N/SAIDs and every other type of medical product and service known to man. Decent personal values? Are you joking? The generation behind the New Deal and Medicare has "decent personal values"??? The ones who continually vote themselves every conceivable entitlement and then draw more from them than they could ever possibly have contributed?

ME! ME! ME! is every bit as much a hallmark of today's seniors as it the Boomers, and they have fucked the unborn every bit as much if not more.

"Germany or Japan may find a solution to their demographic problem because they are close knit societies. We are not. We are a highly fragmented, well-armed society of religious freaks and semi-literate buffoons." Irrelevant premises and an absurd conclusion parroting mindless xenophiliac liberal propaganda. Please explain the relationship between social fragmentation and religiosity, well-"armedness", and literacy, and the relevance of same to your opening statement: "The main issue is that people are not just getting older, they are getting sicker.".

Somehow I doubt even Bertrand Russell was as pretentious as your post.

Nels's picture

There's a conflict between 3 and 4.  Some of the reduced consumption comes from lower income, which then suggests that while service will be a bigger part of the economy, it's because the rest of the economy is reduced, not that the service part increases.

Of course, demand for service will increase, expecially medical.  That doesn't mean there will be money to pay for it.

Offthebeach's picture

Lots of abandoned factory buildings. Put the predead, costsinks in Stainless pens over sloped epoxy painted floored concrete to hose down every day. Diet of Skittles and fries. Pink slime burgers on Sunday. Staff will be surly union affirmative action illiterates stilling meds and drugs. 24/7 CNN on the flatscreen.
Gulag Oldapeligo.

Manthong's picture

That is on page 2,322 of the Health Care Reform Act but nobody else has read that far yet.

Acorn10012's picture

Well, they had to pass the bill to find out what was in it. And Palin's a dumbass...she's got a lot of company.

Snakeeyes's picture

You can see it in the employment numbers: 41.6% nonemployment rate in US. And it is all downhill from here.

http://confoundedinterest.wordpress.com/2012/08/18/unemployment-the-trac...

bunnyswanson's picture

Tax deductible charitable donations from the elite to churches, which will provide those who "join" their congregation may be what develops.  This will force us to falsely worship our saviors as we struggle to get through the day.  In a land where civil unrest is prevalent, sleep is lost and if any of us know what a day is like after a sleepless night, we are compromised greatly. 

Young folks are more apt to be functional under this type of duress (sleepless and stressed) but today's young are different, self-absorbed and propelled by their own needs.  It's a dismal picture of what may come.  Only solution I can think of is seizing the stolen loot.  But, that seems unlikely.  This is all in the plan, I believe. 

Does anyone else get an ad for a local attorney and mug shots of 2 crying contorted-face convicts when they come to ZH, like me?

Winston of Oceania's picture

The ads you see are largely due to the web sites that you visit. Your OS or browser is selling the info to retailers so that they can spam you. Welcome to the future, now be careful what you think!

Acorn10012's picture

I'm thinking about Sugar Daddy girls but its been awhile since seeing that ad.

shovelhead's picture

Retirees:

Listen up.

Rob a bank, shoot a banker and go to jail. 3 hots and a cot and free medical care and tv.

You have to wing the bastard or they'll just cut you loose.

Crimes against banks WILL be prosecuted.

Crimes BY banks...Faggedaboudit.

FeralSerf's picture

Soon TPTB will make that a "hate crime" like setting synagogues and rabbis on fire.  I suppose there's some (a lot of?) truth to it being a "hate crime".

Offthebeach's picture

"In Amerika bank rob you!"

phat ho's picture

give'em cake I say...

AurorusBorealus's picture

Unfortunately, this information does not include the expense of Medicare.  Don't fret Geither and the other members of the Medicare Trust Fund are on the scene... http://www.ssa.gov/oact/trsum/index.html  .  Also, many seniors, perhaps as many as 1 in 3, are dual eligible for Medicare and Medicaid, and so receive Medicaid benefits as well.  Also, states offer supplemental Social Security for low income seniors.  Many seniors also receive Welfare cash benefits, housing subsidized by the FHA, food stamps (I would hazard a guess that 1 in 4 seniors receive food stamps), public subsidies for transportation (paid for by lottery funds and other means).  In fact, probably the greatest position to be in globally, is to be an American over the age of 65.  The benefits lavished upon the elderly in America are so far beyond absurd as to defy all reason.

j8h9's picture

I'd be curious to know how many posters on this board do not have healthcare insurance and thus use the emergency room at the hospital for all their medical needs. I saw on the news dental issues were the #1 reason for the uninsured visiting the hospital. We all know that this process is far more expensive to taxpayers than if these persons had their own insurance. Anybody out there using their local hospital for free med coverage?

DCFusor's picture

You must be getting wrong info about something.  I've never simultaneously been sick and had insurance, and it's worked out fine - and I've never gotten free care either.

These days, it is in fact harder to get care without insurance, as they know they are charging more (much) than most people could pay, especially the always-sick types.  But I'm not one of them.

They are indeed often surprised when I say I'll just write a check, but I think I actually get better service than the insured do once they get the idea they're going to be paid, on time, and without a ton of expensive paperwork.  Of course, the downside for them is that unlike the insurance, I pay attention to what services were actually rendered, and refuse to pay for those that were not, which I find on every bill when I go to a hospital.

WTF makes you think the emergency room is free?  If you can pay, you must - and in many cases, they'll charge you as though every intern on the floor had seen you for an hour, even if only one did and that only for 5 minutes out of a total stay of 45 minutes.

They can even garnish your wages.  The will not admit you for actual treatment till a heck of a lot of info is gathered on you - like where you work, your bank account and so on.  You gots to be pretty tricksy to get "free".

And haven once been mistaken for a deadbeat, let me tell you, the treatment you get is very minimal if that's what they think.  I got hit with a high power rifle shot - blew off half my face, so I couldn't answer questions.  I was put on the "let 'em die" ward and untreated for 10 hours till one of my posse came in, fished out my wallet, and showed them two business cards in it - my accountant, and lawyer - and asked which they'd want to be dealing with...then suddenly I got grade A treatment.

Insurance is the CAUSE of high health care prices.  They pay without question all those fraudulent bills no real person would, and they have zero motive to stop the fraud, since they work on a cost plus basis.  Well, the other cause is the insane cost of malpractice, since the lawyers write all the laws, they don't leave themselves out of the gravy train.  So you get a ton of things done to prevent a malpractice suit that you don't need done...and that sure adds costs too.

Offthebeach's picture

Free-erish markets supply good and services in line with what the target customer can afford.
In the early automobile era you went to a coach builder and had a custom car built. Only the rich by and large owned cars. Then came Ford and constant cost control, delivering a fantastic product that was adorable. Same thing with computers.
However, Dr's laid down with the government during the Progressive era and it's been off to the inefficient, high cost races ever since then.
Insurance loves high cost which corrals customers. Pharama loves big insurance. Doctors like the market protection they get from big gov. Gov loves anything they can get in amongsts. All like the present price protection and shielding from creative destruction.

Workers, competing amongst themselves, against illegals, China etc al, under labor cost pressure to afford a politically hooked up, non price competitive industry. Medicine.
How's that going to work?
So the logical steep is for labor to use their votes to recapture/take control of the other actors and make them work at labors price point. Which is what ObamaHillaryRomneycare is. This will work out about as well as public housing/edumakation. High costs, poor quality, endlessly politicalized.

ClassicalLib17's picture

DC, that was the most heart-rending story I ever heard.  I'm 58,  I have smoked cigarettes most of my life and I drink 2 fifths of Makers Mark a week.  But,  I eat very healthy foods.  I am following my Marine Corps father's plan:  I don't go to the doctor anymore and when the end comes, I will go quickly.  I don't want to live on meds and minus body parts.  God bless

Tinky's picture

I am in my mid-fifties, and have never had health insurance. I have never had any remotely serious health issue, and never had to make a trip to the ER. I took an alternative health care path early on, thanks to an enlightening experience with an ignorant mainstream MD. I learned how to understand and care for my body, and have spent a modest amount of money on preventive therapies such as serious massage (especially Rolfing), etc.

There is, of course, always a risk of a catastrophic injury (e.g. car accidents, etc.), and so it is risky to go without any insurance. However, in terms of non-catastrophic medical care, I have saved a huge amount of money, and am far healthier than the vast majority of the U.S. populace.

Winston of Oceania's picture

Yes except that now you won't get any "care" at all, just red tape and a big dumb blue pill to keep you less mindful of the pain. They took the money FROM medicare FOR the new plan, you know the one for YOUNG productive people. 

Maybe you're better off not having the surgery, but taking the pain killer..,

Offthebeach's picture

There will be big buildings were lots of people work/ shuffle around. It will be called, hospital. It will be to health what public schools are to intellectual development. There will be a cafeteria serving cold pizza. The will watch the old George C. Scott movie, Paddy Chyaefsky's "The Hospital" for quality control tips. It will be all unionized.

phat ho's picture

1/2 way through the babyboomer retirement era and I feel the mentality will WTFU as it will become blatantly obvious it is far too glutonous to sustain the unsustainable

Rene-Paul's picture

Youth in Asia is a possible answer.

Apostate2's picture

No solution there because 'Asia' is on the same trajectory--low fertility, rising life expectancy and rapid increase in old-age dependency ratio. Indeed this process has accelerated rapidly from the 1970s. All parts of Asia are not equivalent but in the Far East it is happening rapidly. For example, Hong Kong's current old-age dependancy ratio is 16% of the population and will double by 2030 and will exceed Japan in this regard. China too is on the aging fast track (though life expectancy is lower but gender-skewed--more males than females because of sex-selected abortions and the one child policy created that abomination). What is rather surprising is that this article does not address the other side of the equation--fertility.

This is not just an economic issue but a policy issue.

Praetor's picture

I think he may be referring to Ali G.

Apostate2's picture

'booyakasha', yeah baby.

I had a laugh.

slewie the pi-rat's picture

wait!  no wonder!

the census didn't count the illegals!

we're saved by the Bijoles, BiCheZ!

 

 

slewie the pi-rat's picture

it's only temporary tyler

they go to mexico to visit their money like i am going to the casino now:  to visit mine!

see ya! 

Colonel's picture

LOL. The native Americans appreciate your patronage.

Atomizer's picture

Just ask the UK how that program worked out for them. A once sought out government program to generate new tax revenues becomes, unintended consequences to the fiscal support system.

 

UK Slave: We’re now borrowing  68 pence for every pound spent. Bloody hell!

Mysterious Voice: Calm down peasant, the Olympics will flood our country with riches never seen before. That number will vaporize your calculations and generate a £ surplus that we can all cherish over. [ha ha ha..  Cherio lad]

 Edit:

We ran our beta program over here in the UK. Now we can’t collect the revenues we thought. Some sort of sharia law tax loop they got us under. We have just started a soft promotion study group in San Fruitsisco. Have a look..

City of San Francisco to place sharia-compliant disclaimers next to every AFDI pro-Israel bus ad 

We hope our study group can find new ways to collect the needed taxation. Once we figure out the puzzle, will take this bitch global.

dolph9's picture

I knew this would happen eventually, but on the ground I'm not seeing it.

Angus McHugepenis's picture

The census bureau can't count... PERIOD!

l1b3rty's picture

oh a deindustrialization designed and the distractions to enable it to happen...

http://silvervigilante.com

jwoop66's picture

If Obamacare stays in place, the old folks will start dropping like flies.   The ones that hang on will eventually be deemed to expensive for medical care other than pain killers.   Bullish for opiates and narcotics.   

There is one political party that mentions trying to do something about it from time to time, but as soon as they speak, the other party accuses them of trying to kill granny.  Of course they are both the same some of you will say.  At least one of them does squeek up once in a while, but the populists in the other shut them right up.   Half the country mindlessly listens to the populists(who also advocate what some of us call statism).  

Self reliance is going to make a comeback whether some want it or not.

lizzy36's picture

I am hoping common sense makes a comeback.

People get old and they die. It is called the life-cycle. Medical expenditures are generally the largest in the last year(s)of life. One has to question to what end. But very few ever do.

Many doctors have become more vocal on treatments they themselves would not take, but are forced to prescribe. End of life treatments, terminal illness treatments. 

We live in a world of limited resources. We live in a world of limited quality of life. We live in a world where people should start talking about these issues. 

We are all terminal. 

I have had the benefit of being very ill, very young. I say benefit because as an adult i have an understanding of these issues that only experience in youth and as a young sdult provide.

When the time comes I will choose the morphine over invasive surgery that merely extends my life by months. I will choose dying at home without the 3, 6 or 9 extra months in a hospital. I will also choose them for my loved ones. We have had those discussions.

Anything after 80 is icing on the cake. I plan on making that icing my own. I think it is time as a society we start having those discussions. 

 

 

Ghordius's picture

did you know that your words resonate with 80% of the women of this world and 20% of the men?and the other half of humanity would say "I want to live forever"?

it's a preference

by being a preference people are born with, it's automatically a natural hot button issue

perfectly suited to clog the political channels and distract people for years

jwoop66's picture

I agree with you.  My mother has alzheimers and I told my sisters that if it happens to me I will save a bullet for a lucid moment and do what I have to(assuming that is how I feel if/when it happens).   This would be my choice, though.

That is the crucial point.  

I don't want the local beaurocrat interpreting the letter of the regulations regardless of actual circumstances.   If I or my loved ones have the resources to supply me with things that will extend my life, I want to have access to those resources.  If I can live to 100 years old with a good quality of life, that is what I want.   If a heart transplant at 80 gives me that ability, then I want the transplant.  With obamacare, I would be willing to bet that would not happen simply because the regulations at the time(this is hypothetical of course) say 79 years old is the cut-off.  

lizzy36's picture

If you have at minimum the $1million plus dollars to pay for a heart transplant at 80 then it is your for the taking. Plus the hundreds of thousands of dollars for follow-up, and multiple medications.

Here is the thing, have you ever had abdominal surgery, chest surgery? The risk of emboli, infection, rejection go up for ever year one gets older. It takes me 6 weeks to 3 months to fully recover from abdominal surgery. I am many, many decades younger than 80, of normal weight and run 40 miles a week. 

I am also fairly certain that no transplant surgeon would tell you he would take that surgery at 80. The chances for a full recovery are very very small. Further, given the limited availability of hearts, each and every time i would argue for it to go to the man/woman who is 40. So would Unos.

This is the discussion about limited resources that needs to occur. I am sorry life isn't fair, medicare cannot afford this type of surgery for an 80 year old. Never will be able to. Never was designed to. If you have the millions to put up and can source a heart, than i suppose it is your money to spend as you wish. But it is NOT yours to demand of any publically funded healthcare system, given the metrics you are describing. 

jwoop66's picture

Once again, its hypothetical.  With a publicly funded health care system no one but the beaurocrats will make any decisions- that is the point.

FeralSerf's picture

If you're willing to accept a Palestinian or Chinese heart, you can probably get the whole thing done for a lot less than $1 million in an offshore facility.   IMHO, the practice is criminal beyond belief.

 

Atomizer's picture

Lizzy36

 

You always put things into perspective. Bravo!

 

Life is short. You can be so vain by living your life under someone else’s health mandates. In the end, you will still die. Life cycles is the key word.

+1,000 green arrows

dark_matter's picture

I like the primal motto: Live long, Drop dead.

duo's picture

granny should be given a choice between getting that knee transplant / being kept alive with Alzheimers or having her grandchildren's college paid for. 

There was enough wealth in this country to provide for our old people, but we pissed it away in Vietnam, Iraq, Afghanistan, bank bailouts, DHS, and the Great Society.

Dr. Sandi's picture

I went to high school with a lot of the wealth this country pissed away in Vietnam. That wealth came home in bags.

Dr. Sandi's picture

 

Self reliance is going to make a comeback whether some want it or not.

Surely the feds will eventually create a Department of Self Reliance and show us the correct way to do it.

jwoop66's picture

LOL!   You're right!    Then we know we're fucked!   +1

whoknoz's picture

doomagraphics...and ZH puts it right up front every day...