Sustainability of Health Care: Myths and Facts - June 2010

The Myth: Our aging population will make health care unaffordable.
The Facts: Private health care services, not an aging population, are driving health care spending.
Population aging is a very small factor in increasing health care costs at 0.8% per year, less than other factors such as population growth (1%) and inflation (2.5%). There is also an increasing use of prescription drugs, medical imaging and other new and expensive medical technology, often in inappropriate ways. 

The real issue is the intensity and costliness of medical interventions, and the questions to ask are: ‘Where is the money going?’ and ‘Are we getting value for our money?’