Let me start by saying I think Ray Kurzweil and kin are wildly optimistic, especially when it comes to AI. But many parts of the world he envisions will I think one day come to pass in one form or another ...perhaps half a century if we're both lucky and diligent - perhaps ten times that if we collapse and our posterity must rebuild.
Eventually, I most certainly believe that repairing most every malady of the human body will be no more resource intensive than running an antivirus scan on your computer today. From a congested heart to a missing limb, the repair will be so comparatively easy, so cheap, so transparent, that it will be hardly be a resource worth considering.
And to a great many people born in that era, this great debate of the last year will make no sense. They will not understand the decades of expensive training to become an expert in surgery. They will not understand the long trial periods of pharmacological medicine, nor the many costly blind alleys of medical research. They may not even understand the balance sheet tradeoffs to keep those bedpans emptied each morning. The Social Security Bubble may as well be the Cross of Gold for all they'll know or care.
No, I think all they will see - the the extent they take this little portion of the argument of the day in at all - is a bunch of people striving to prevent the poorest among us from receiving something they've grown up taking for granted.
... Probably like that cotton shirt you're most likely wearing right now.
I can't help but think they'll be like the kids in my high school history class, scoffing at reading so many in the 1850's south worried that ending slavery would be catastrophic for the region's economy.
Suck it up, sweethearts, we said... what you're doing is wrong.
.. but then, we didn't have to live with either an overseer taking a horsewhip (or worse) to our mothers, nor see fields overgrown, cities burned, and yes.... an economy that did collapse utterly. All the suffering and misery and rage of Reconstruction were not even an afterthought.
The good guys won, the slaves were freed, and humanity got a little bit closer to perfection. That was the story, and the story made sense.
To our debate today? Honestly, I don't think the program as it's detailed will last twenty years, and possibly not ten. Either it will be repealed, watered down, or inflated to nothing... or the whole house of cards will collapse and we lose all our marbles reaching for that last big shiny one. One way or another, its days are numbered. The only question is how much else is damaged in the process.
Eventually, everything we're being promised today will be possible, will be cheap, and would be a perfectly reasonable - if somewhat redundant - service for our state governments to look at providing. That doing it now stands a very good chance of punching that last hole in the floorboards of the lifeboat will not, I think, be a story particularly appreciated in the long view of time.
Much as I wouldn't want to look into the eyes of a field slave in 1858 and say "don't worry sweetheart, in a hundred years mechanization will make this life here so unproductive Master Jock will just have to free your family" I don't relish saying "insurance company agent, government bureaucrat, or gramma counting her pennies and finding they don't add up to enough, someone is going to be the de facto death panel... what's the least destructive option that leaves the most room to grow to the point we don't have to make this choice anymore?"
It just ain't right to let folk drown...and that still doesn't mean your boat won't sink when you pile in one person too many.
If the choice was easy, we wouldn't be savaging each other over it.