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date: 23 August 2019

Abstract and Keywords

This article explores how the United States meets the health-care needs of older Americans, highlighting the extent to which the US model differs from that of other countries. It also examines whether greater reliance on the private sector and eventually shifting from a defined benefit to a defined contribution approach will be effective in holding down the costs of health care over time while still meeting the needs of older Americans. As other countries may also consider adding market incentives to their systems, the US experience can highlight problems that may arise from such changes. Further, the financing challenges in the United States pose an additional element of uncertainty that can be instructive to other countries if attitudes toward the public sector erode over time.

Keywords: health needs, care needs, older Americans, private sector, market incentives, health care

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