The baby boom generation will pose a gross demand for long-term care services and the challenges that state and federal governments face in budgeting to offset those services. Federal entitlement spending will sharply increase due to lack of preparation (saving money) for “old age” by baby boomers. The some 76 million baby boomers born between 1946 and 1964 are anticipated to double the burden on Medicare, Medicaid, and Social Security by 2035. (United States Government Accounting Office, 2001) Social Security and Medicare reform must continue to keep the programs viable and capable of meeting those commitments. Medicaid, the main agency that finances long term care, will need realistic focus. Currently, the services of Medicaid are unable to meet the demands of need for individuals with disabilities, leaving the individual’s family to face the burden of long term care cost. (United States Government Accounting Office, 2001) “As the baby boom generation retires and the Medicare-eligible population swells, the imbalance between outlays and revenues will increase dramatically.
Medicare growth rates reflect not only a rapidly increasing beneficiary population, but also the escalation of health care costs at rates well exceeding general rates of inflation. While advances in science and technology have greatly expanded the capabilities of medical science, disproportionate increases in the use of health services have been fueled by the lack of effective means to channel patients into consuming, and providers into offering, only appropriate services. Although Medicare cost growth had slowed in recent years, in fiscal year 2001 Medicare spending grew by 10.3 Percent and is up 7.8 percent for the first 5 months of fiscal year 2002. (United States Government Accounting Office, 2001)”
United States Government Accounting Offices (2001) Long Term Care – Aging Baby Boomers Retrieved from http://www.gov/assets/110/109196.html