Your points are worth considering and may have some merit. I’m still skeptical as I read the rationales being cited. I poked around and found this:
Callahan and Topinkova (1998) write: “In short, not only does aging lend itself to be characterized as a disease, but the advantage of doing so is that, by rejecting the seeming fatalism of the label “natural,” it better legitimizes medical efforts to either eliminate it or get rid of those undesirable conditions associated with it.”
This is odd reasoning. Being elderly certainly puts you at increased risk for a lot of medical conditions and events. But so does being African-American, e.g. higher risk of diabetes and heart attack. We (hopefully!) wouldn’t do anything so racist as to label anybody’s ethnicity as a disease! But then, at least in our culture, ageism is a more widely accepted prejudice than racism.
Having aging recognized as a disease would stimulate grant-awarding bodies to increase funding for aging research and develop biomedical procedures to slow the aging process (Kelland, 2010).
It’s true that life expectancy in the U.S. is decreasing. But shouldn’t we be trying to figure out why rather than pumping research money and health care spending into "biomedical procedures?*
Indeed, Engelhardt states that calling something a disease involves the commitment to medical intervention (Engelhardt, 1975).
Medical intervention for aging?
Furthermore, having a condition recognized as a disease is important to have treatment refunded by health insurance providers
Ah yes! “Science” hard at work here!
I don’t think anything could make this topic “sexy,” but certainly living in a death-denying culture doesn’t help matters.