Life expectancy in America has increased from 41 years at the beginning of the 20th century to 77 in 2000; we live almost twice as long as we did a century ago. And both longevity and health are bound to get better. Infant mortality is down 45% since 1980, and we spent 50% more on health care per person in 2002 than in 1982. For example, there were 200,000 knee replacements in 2001 at an average cost of $26,000. That’s $5.2 billion for a health-care procedure that didn’t exist a decade ago. (The Wall Street Journal, 1/21/04)
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