Healthcare is getting more expensive in most western countries. It is widely assumed that one of the major factors behind this is the ageing of populations (baby boomers produced in the burst of high birth rates in the 1950s and '60s are now retiring but fewer children are being born).
For example, this analysis in the Guardian states:
More than two-fifths of national health spending in the UK is devoted to people over 65, according to estimates produced for the Guardian by the Nuffield Trust – a figure that is only likely to increase with the nation’s ageing demographic.
Though many other sources could be cited assuming the same thing.
Not everyone agrees. This myth buster piece by the Canadian Health Services Research Foundation argues:
Some of the best research shows that, although health care costs will begin to rise as baby-boomers age, the impact will be modest in comparison to that of other cost drivers, such as inflation and technological innovation.
One argument against is that the very fact people are living longer is a sign that they are more healthy. Another is that the real cause of cost growth is a failure to adapt to the specific need of the old, not an internet need for higher cost care.
Is the widely held belief that healthcare costs are rising as a result of older populations right or not?