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The fairytale of the expensive old | Le conte de fées des vieux chers | Das Märchen von den teuren Alten

The fairytale of the expensive old
The society is getting older and the health service is threatened by the cost explosion. Sounds obvious, but it’s wrong.

Our healthcare is in danger! You can hear that again and again. The greatest danger assumes that health will soon be no longer affordable. Medical progress makes medicine more and more expensive, so he could no longer benefit everyone. One would have to ration, prioritize and allocate. And then there is also the ever-increasing life expectancy, the ever-increasing number of old people. Older is sicker is more expensive, that’s the horror formula. But is that true?

The term “cost explosion” was introduced in 1974 by the then Minister of Health of Rhineland-Palatinate, Heiner Geissler, in the political discussion. With the help of a misleading visualization of actually very small statistical fluctuations in health care costs, the impression of a steeply rising cost curve was created. The mirror sat then with the series: “medical expenses: The bomb ticking” in 1975, the whole count... show more