Caring for a Large Geriatric Generation
The Coming Crisis in U.S. Health Care
The time has more than come to begin planning seriously for the aging of the baby-boom generation. The need for planning goes beyond concerns about the solvency of Social Security and Medicare. Another crisis looms in the form of a huge bill for the care of baby boomers who in their old age will need help dressing, eating, taking medication, and performing other daily tasks. Under the current system, most nursing home care is paid for by Medicaid—a program designed primarily to subsidize the acute care of indigent families. This arrangement diverts health care resources from their intended use, thwarts the development of a long-term-care insurance system, and provides meager resources to heavily burdened providers, forcing them to skimp on care needed by a vulnerable population.