The question is about fairly allocating resources to both parties so that the present and the future both are spent happily.
The aging population of the US is approximately 13% of the whole. However this very 13% get more than 60% of all federal social spending which is outrageous as the taxpayers spend three times more funds on the elderly than on their children. According to the author "it is not a workable nation-building strategy to spend significantly more on the last generation that we do on the next generation". Don't we all say that our children deserve much better Yes of course we do! The children do deserve better than we have in our lives right now. But how will we give our children better when we most of our funds are being consumed giving 'better' to the aged This is exactly the point the author tries to hit and I absolutely agree with it.
The Americans spend $6000 annually on health care per person on an average. Economically it is bad for the a nation to spend this much as it can cause instability but according to polls health care is still the number one priority. It's in the nature of every person to take care of loved ones and specially the ones in distress. Most people like to help and this is shown by the increasing healthcare expenditure which is now up to 2.5 times the rate of inflation.
The author argues the need for a reform to curb this expenditure and put it where it would be useful. The author mentions the phrase "Infinite Needs, Finite Resources" which describes the social truth. There must be trade-offs, priority settings and rationing to ensure that justice prevails on all levels. I totally agree with the concept of looking out for the society and not just for an 'individual'. However rationing distribution of funds on the basis of cost-effectiveness is berserk. Everybody has a chance to live and every person must be given equal rights. This is what democracy teaches while the author although quoting democracy, fails to see the basic points of democracy - equal status and a free voice for all.
The author mentions, "The battle against death should not be permitted to hijack a disproportionate share of finite public resources needed elsewhere in a society to raise or protect people's quality of life. Here again the author fails to recognize the need for the elderly in our lives. Not only the elderly teach us the harsh realities of life, they also are a living proof of this unforgiving world that they have endured. Although the authors talks about society and cohesiveness, their individualistic trait is apparent in the opening sentence of this section. Everybody should have an equal chance to get healthcare compensation. It is not the decision of us mortals to 'pull the plug' by choosing not to provide the elderly with healthcare.
I agree with the authors' point of view for new reforms to guarantee basic healthcare, income security and long-term care, however prioritizing and rationing are against the social morality and justice. The authors portray a very rude behavior against the elderly by portraying them as dispensable while I believe the aged to be assets for our present and for our future generations.