Coping with Methuselah: The Impact of Molecular Biology on Medicine and Society

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Henry Aaron, William B. Schwartz
Brookings Institution Press, Jan 20, 2004 - Medical - 296 pages
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Many medical authorities predict that average life expectancy could well exceed 100 years by mid century and rise even higher soon thereafter. This astonishing prospect, brought on by the revolution in molecular biology and information technology, confronts policymakers and public health officials with a host of new questions. How will increased longevity affect local and global demographic trends, government taxation and spending, health care, the workplace, Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid? What ethical and quality-of-life issues are raised by these new breakthroughs? In Coping with Methuselah, a group of practicing scientists and public policy experts come together to address the problems, challenges, and opportunities posed by a longer life span. This book will generate discussion in political, social, and medical circles and help prepare us for the extraordinary possibilities that the future may hold.

 

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Contents

The Impact of the Revolution in Biomedical Research on Life Expectancy by 2050
16
Our Uncertain Demographic Future
66
The Changing Face of Health Care
105
Labor Market Effects of Dramatic Longevity Improvement
126
The Impact of Major Improvements in Life Expectancy on the Financing of Social Security Medicare and Medicaid
166
Ethical Aspects of Major Increases in Life Span and Life Expectancy
198
Increased Life Expectancy A Global Perspective
247
Contributors
285
Index
287
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About the author (2004)

Henry J. Aaronis a senior fellow in Economic Studies at the Brookings Institution, where he holds the Bruce and Virginia MacLaury Chair. Among his many books are Can We Say No? The Challenge of Rationing Health Care, with William B. Schwartz and Melissa Cox (Brookings, 2006), and Reforming Medicare: Options,Tradeoffs, and Opportunities, written with Jeanne Lambrew (Brookings, 2008). William B. Schwartz is an expert on national health policy and is a professor of medicine at the University of Southern California. He was formerly chairman of the Department of Medicine and Vannevar Bush Professor at Tufts University and was also president of the American Society of Nephrology.

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