In both cases, an additional symbol (a range, a dot) was superimposed on the bar chart, which is an act both obfuscating and ugly. It is made painfully clear that each bar contains only one piece of data, completely indicated by its top edge; in other words, one can replace any bar with just its top edge, which is what I have done in each case.
In the first example, the baseline estimates of people living with HIV show up more clearly. (I'm not sure why upper and lower estimates are included for years past as they should have official counts.)
In the second example, the focus on the gap between official and actual retirement ages is restored and emphasized.
It would not be proper to sign off without revisiting the start-at-zero rule (start here or here). In both the above charts, I have chosen not to start at zero. I assume that the point of these charts is to illustrate recent changes in the depicted variables (Andrew will want to see longer time series, I'm sure.) If I start these charts at zero, I run into difficulty deciding the separation of the tick labels: in order to capture the differences which are squeezed into a small range (due to the narrow date range), I'd have to use a lot of ticks, most of which are useless outside the range of the data!
Reference: "Spin Doctors" and "Must Try Harder", Economist, Nov 26, 2005.