In many ways, gerontology represents the future of health care. The U.S. population is aging rapidly. By 2030, 71 million Americans (about 20% of the U.S. population) will be 65 and older. These individuals are at high risk for complex health problems, chronic illness, and disability, and they are, and will continue to be, the heaviest users of health care.
This nation’s decision-makers are currently confronting an enormous range of specific challenges in regard to health care for the aging populous. These include:
- Contributions to the Affordable Care Act
- Medicare payment reform
- Restructuring health care delivery systems (e.g., the medical home concept)
- Regulation of nursing homes and long-term care facilities
- Improving quality through financial incentives (e.g., Medicare’s Value-Based Purchasing Initiative)
- The role of States in health policy
- Reauthorizing the Older Americans Act
- Strategies for chronic care coordination
- Mental health and preventive healthcare benefits in Medicare
- Health information technology
- Engaging consumers in health care quality
- Funding for health professionals training
- Setting priorities for biomedical and behavioral research in aging
- Providing care for the aging cohorts of U.S. veterans
- Strategies for individuals dually eligible for Medicare and Medicaid (Source)
It is very apparent that of late, probably because seniors are hardest hit by Biden’s runaway inflation that seniors are struggling more now. Social security has not kept up with the CPI (Consumer Price Index) which miraculously changes under Democrats so the raise in payments are minimal. This year a 5.9% Social Security increase, all the while everything is in the double digits barely helps.
Several states with large older populations have begun offering financial incentives (public and private) to boost the influx of new residents. For example, Vermont seeks to entice new residents by paying them up to $10,000 over 2 years to move to the state, which has an aging population of about 626,000 and a low unemployment rate. Maine, which began offering a tax credit to retain graduates of colleges and universities in the state, recently announced it would expand to higher education graduates from anywhere in the United States.
In Virginia, the law is as follows:
“§ 51.5-137. Administrative responsibilities of Department regarding aging services.
The Department shall have the following responsibilities regarding aging services in the Commonwealth:
- Develop appropriate fiscal and administrative controls over aging services in the Commonwealth;
- Develop a state long-term care plan to guide the coordination and delivery of aging services. The plan shall ensure the development of a continuum of aging services for older persons in need of services;
- Identify and assure the equitable statewide distribution of resources for aging services; and
- Perform ongoing evaluations of the cost-effective utilization of aging services.
2012, cc. 803, 835; 2020, c. 728.” (Source)
This year Virginia began a new initiative to help seniors and those with disabilities (physical of intellectual) under the Medicaid program via Blue Cross Blue Shield MediBlue the opportunity to receive a monthly $50.00 food card that would cover food or paper goods to assist them during this period of high inflation. The program was piloted in other states and found to be successful and helpful. For the most part, I believe Virginia deals fairly with its senior citizens, but of course, nothing is perfect. For example, this money must be used monthly because it will not roll over into the next month as it does in Indiana. It is a good program with different rules depending on which part of the country you are in.
At the end of the day do you believe that national politics in the USA neglect older adults?