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Medicare Reform: The Larger Picture


  • Victor R. Fuchs


The "Medicare problem" is examined as part of the larger problem of providing for the overall financial needs of the elderly. Several myths about Medicare are discussed, and sources and uses of the elderly's "full income" are estimated. The paper explores policy options to deal with technology-induced increases in health care expenditures and excessive dependence of the elderly on transfers from the young. The paper concludes that if Americans wish to continue to enjoy the benefits of medical advances, they will have to work before and after age 65 and will have to increase their rate of saving substantially.

Suggested Citation

  • Victor R. Fuchs, 2000. "Medicare Reform: The Larger Picture," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 14(2), pages 57-70, Spring.
  • Handle: RePEc:aea:jecper:v:14:y:2000:i:2:p:57-70 Note: DOI: 10.1257/jep.14.2.57

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Victor R. Fuchs, 1998. "Provide, Provide: The Economics of Aging," NBER Working Papers 6642, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    2. John Geanakoplos & Olivia S. Mitchell & Stephen P. Zeldes, "undated". "Social Security Money's Worth," Pension Research Council Working Papers 98-9, Wharton School Pension Research Council, University of Pennsylvania.
    3. Laurence J. Kotlikoff & Laurence J. Kotlikoff & Willi Leibfritz, 1999. "From Deficit Delusion to the Fiscal Balance Rule: Looking for an Economically Meaningful Way to Assess Fiscal Policy," NBER Chapters,in: Generational Accounting around the World, pages 9-30 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    4. Michael D. Hurd & Kathleen McGarry, 2002. "The Predictive Validity of Subjective Probabilities of Survival," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 112(482), pages 966-985, October.
    5. Aaron S. Edlin, 1993. "Is College Financial Aid Equitable and Efficient?," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 7(2), pages 143-158, Spring.
    6. Engen, Eric & Gale, William & Uccello, Cori, 1999. "The Adequacy of Household Saving," MPRA Paper 56442, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    7. Feldstein, Martin, 1995. "College Scholarship Rules and Private Saving," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 85(3), pages 552-566, June.
    8. Venti, Steven F & Wise, David A, 1998. "The Cause of Wealth Dispersion at Retirement: Choice or Chance?," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 88(2), pages 185-191, May.
    9. Fuchs, Victor R, 1996. "Economics, Values, and Health Care Reform," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 86(1), pages 1-24, March.
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    Cited by:

    1. Khwaja, Ahmed, 2010. "Estimating willingness to pay for medicare using a dynamic life-cycle model of demand for health insurance," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 156(1), pages 130-147, May.
    2. Mark McClellan, 2001. "Medicare and the Federal Budget: Past Experience, Current Policy, Future Prospects," NBER Chapters,in: Tax Policy and the Economy, Volume 15, pages 167-200 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.

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    JEL classification:

    • I18 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Health - - - Government Policy; Regulation; Public Health


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