I've been a journalist in the field of aging since 1960. I not only wrote about Dr. Butler but I also worked with him at the National Institute on Aging and at the Mount Sinai School of Medicine, where he established the nation's first academic department of geriatrics, now marking its 25th anniversary. He and I are among over 1500 research subjects in the Baltimore Longitudinal Study of Aging, now all-too-quietly marking its 50th anniversary as an impressive study of normal aging.
I have admired him as a teacher, colleague, writer, speaker, and walker. "The Longevity Revolution" displays erudition of enormous range in history, philosophy, politics, medicine, and science.
I would like to add three thoughts to Mr. Friedman's interview.
First, it's about time to apply social insurance to long-term care. That is, add it to Medicare and subtract it from Medicaid.
Second, let's adapt the health-care system to geriatrics, including health-related social services.
Third, Americans should be paid a wage that will support long life at a decent level. Most Americans can't save enough as family breadwinners to bring up children, keep developing work skills, and build a decent retirement base. Social Security is p[egged too low, and job-based benefits (including pension provisions) are shrinking.
The dollar numbers in Mr. Friedman's article indicate that we have a long way to go to incorporate the longevity revolution into our business economics and financial planning.