They said the same thing about "junk" DNA. 10-15 years from now, it may no longer be apparent that you can do without them.
I don't think that's likely. There is a subtle nuance here about what they are claiming. The is a very distinct difference between "genes you can live without" versus something like "these gene are junk and have no function". The claim that you can live without a certain gene is easily proven; find people who have lived to adulthood and are carrying two copies of deletions/disruptions in the same gene (so they have no functional copies of that gene). This is actually not that surprising as your body has evolved to be highly adaptable to accommodate a vast array of environments and diets. So it is very possible that some of those people have subtle deficiencies such as not being able to digest certain sugars or see colors slightly differently. They might not appreciate a Monet in the same way you do, but the fact that they are alive is proof that that gene is not essential for life. You could make the argument that the set of essential genes in Iceland might be different than the set of genes required for life in extreme environments like the Sahara desert or on a tropical island where the only thing to eat is bananas and that sugar metabolism gene now becomes essential, but I would think that list of non-overlapping genes would be small.