Emerging technology and healthcare spending

A question from Yahoo! Answers:

How did the emerging technological breakthroughs influence the health care spending?

They led to its increase.

With new technology, conditions that used to be untreatable can be treated (and, with luck, even cured), albeit at a cost. Twenty years ago, an HIV-positive person inevitably developed AIDS and died soon after that. Today, a person with HIV has a good chance of leading a normal life, as long as they (or their insurance company) can afford medication, tests, and regular doctor visits.

New medical technology also increases longevity, meaning that seniors who used to die at 70 after taking blood pressure and arthritis medications for 10 years now die at 85 after taking those same meds for 25 years.

To put it somewhat cynically, new technology often gives you a choice between a cheap death and an expensive life…

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