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Healthcare costs more because of aging population? Wrong, says report


A new study shows the people who are driving our unstoppable healthcare costs aren't who we think, reports NBC.  According to a report in the Nov. 13 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association, most of the country's healthcare dollars are spent on people under 65 with diabetes, heart disease and other chronic conditions. 
Chronic illnesses accounted for 84 percent of the overall healthcare costs of the entire population in 2011, and illnesses among people younger than 65 accounted for 67 percent of that spending, the study found.The surge of an aging population didn't drive the cost increases since 2000; nor did a spike in demand for services. The rising prices of drugs, medical devices, professional services, and admin costs were responsible for 91 percent of the increased costs.

Socially and politically, the perception is that retiring Baby Boomers are using more services as they get older. But the authors of the study say their research didn't show that.  

Another myth their study dispels is that U.S. healthcare may cost more, but it's superior. Echoing other studies, the authors found the U.S.lifespans lagging behind those of people in Western Europe and Japan. The U.S. also has large health disparities, with people in Mississippi, for example, in much poorer health than people in Colorado. Read the story.


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