Patrick has been researching and writing about breakthrough tech for over 30 years. He has written over 200 editorials for USA Today. He has appeared in the Wall Street Journal and on CNN’s Crossfire news program.

Patrick has also served as a consultant for national political campaigns and Fortune 500 companies. He’s interviewed and speaks regularly to a host of nationally known CEOs and Nobel Prize-winning scientists and researchers.
Tags: birthrate | healthcare | ACA | biotech

Demographic Shift Threatens Healthcare

By Friday, 05 August 2016 01:56 PM Current | Bio | Archive

Contrary to popular belief, population growth has started to decline. From now on, every subsequent generation will be smaller. Fertility rates in the West are already well below replacement rates, and the rest of the world is quickly catching up.

New data show that the U.S. birth rate is at historic lows, almost certainly in response to economic weakness. People have always delayed childbirth in uncertain economic times. We’re seeing this today at unprecedented levels.

Our current fertility rate is barely over 1.8 children per woman. We need at least 2.1 children per woman to keep a steady growth in population and maintain economic stability. The impact of this demographic shift is immeasurable.

Unfortunately, almost no one with influence or authority seems to grasp this change. Most people, therefore, assume that all the age-old patterns are still in place.

I think the Obama administration was so convinced that the economy would fully recover on its own, it didn’t pay attention to the issue. This ignorance was a major mistake because demographics have fundamentally altered the dynamics of economic growth.

As the population ages, so do the costs associated with chronic age-related disease. In the past, one generation could run up a bill and send it to a much larger future generation. Due to its size, the future generation could pay off this debt without excessive pain.

That’s no longer the case. Even though today’s generation is diminishing, it will still have to bear the burden of a much larger past generation. The social welfare model has been turned on its head, and we’re already seeing the consequences.

Who is going to bear this burden? That’s right: young people.

Sending our medical bills to our children is, to me, the greatest outrage of this preventable financial catastrophe. The Affordable Care Act is already forcing young people to pay insurance costs three times higher than they should.

The whole point of the ACA was, in fact, to get poorer young people to pay healthcare costs for richer older people. The ACA has failed, however, to enroll enough young healthy poorer people to make the program liquid in the long term.

We’ve reached some sort of tipping point. The rise in public spending and debt has caused the current economic malaise. However, the costs associated with a growing older generation are what drives it. So we have a vicious circle.

All of this is slowing economic growth, and as a result, depresses birth rates among the young who are expected to pay those costs. With fewer contributors/workers to pay escalating age-related healthcare costs, the problem will continue to spiral out of control… unless we allow biotech the freedom to address aging itself.

The latest biotech breakthroughs could already reduce medical costs by delaying aging and the onset of chronic and costly diseases. It’s the only solution to the skyrocketing medical costs projected by the CBO.

The other half of the solution is for older people to use their extended and restored health to remain productive longer, fixing the old-age dependency ratio (OADR) from both sides of the balance sheet.

It will happen. The only question is this: how much pain we will have to suffer before politicians and policy makers wake up and deal with the biggest issue of our time?
 

© 2020 NewsmaxHealth. All rights reserved.


   
1Like our page
2Share
PatrickCox
New data show that the U.S. birth rate is at historic lows, almost certainly in response to economic weakness
birthrate, healthcare, ACA, biotech
548
2016-56-05
Friday, 05 August 2016 01:56 PM
Newsmax Media, Inc.
 
Newsmax TV Live

The information presented on this website is not intended as specific medical advice and is not a substitute for professional medical treatment or diagnosis. Read Newsmax Terms and Conditions of Service.

Newsmax, Moneynews, Newsmax Health, and Independent. American. are registered trademarks of Newsmax Media, Inc. Newsmax TV, and Newsmax World are trademarks of Newsmax Media, Inc.

NEWSMAX.COM
© Newsmax Media, Inc.
All Rights Reserved