On New Year's Day, the oldest of the country's 77 million baby boomers will turn 65. Those baby boomers will become eligible for Medicare, if they are not already, and, increasingly, they will be putting more strain on the U.S. health care system.
Medical advances have led to improved survivability of many diseases and longer life spans. In 2000, the proportion of U.S. residents ages 65 and older was 12%, or 35 million. By 2020, the percentage of the U.S. population ages 65 and older is expected to increase to 17%, or 50 million Americans.
Health care experts warn that not only is the U.S. not able to afford the additional demand on the health care system, the system itself isn't equipped to handle it.