Nearly fifty years ago, President John F. Kennedy sent a message to Congress, quoting the historian Arnold Toynbee: “A Society’s quality and durability can best be measured ‘by the respect and care given its elderly citizens.’” Tom Friedman seems to argue otherwise.

Trudy Lieberman is a fellow at the Center for Advancing Health and a longtime contributing editor to the Columbia Journalism Review. She is the lead writer for The Second Opinion, CJR’s healthcare desk, which is part of our United States Project on the coverage of politics and policy. Follow her on Twitter @Trudy_Lieberman.