American longevity draining Medicare

Released: 
December 16, 2012

Americans today live an average of four years longer compared to 1965, when Medicare was created. Those extra years are straining the program.

Americans are living longer than ever, and that’s clearly a good thing. But it also means they’re depending on Medicare longer – and that’s straining federal resources.

Back when Medicare was created in 1965, a 65-year old woman could expect to live to 81; a 65-year-old man, to age 78. Fast forward to 2010, and the 65-year-old woman could now live to age 85; and the 65-year-old man, to upwards of 82.

Take those extra years, add in the recent influx of baby boomers, and it’s no surprise to see Medicare stressed. Check out our infographic for more. See “What Do Others Say?” for more perspective, then add to the discussion below. Is today’s fact a good argument for raising the Medicare eligibility age? Is there a better way to control spending?