For the third year in a row, life expectancy in the U.S. has declined, mainly because of drug overdoses. Probably a further decline will occur in the years ahead as people commit suicide out of fear of Alzheimer’s. To be specific, the fear of being in a nursing home with Alzheimer’s and 1) not having any children to check on them, and 2) not having sufficient means for paying the bill. Medicaid money? I doubt it: Medicaid will be broke. (What kind of welfare state should we have when there’s an insanely high federal deficit?) But even if it isn’t broke, the fear of neglect and of loss of autonomy will run rampant, will be as great as the fear of pain that leads to fatal opioid use.
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