The United States spends more on healthcare than any other nation in the world. We are the only wealthy, industrialized nation that doesn’t have a universal health care system. There have been ongoing debates regarding the poor access, efficiency, and quality yet the increasing costs. It was impossible to watch one democratic nominee presidential speech without the analysis of this crisis. What does this mean for the baby boomers that make up 27% of the total population?
It’s imperative that the current state of the health care industry be more affordable, stable, and safe for the millions of aging boomers. Over 60% of them who are employed have been diagnosed with at least one chronic health condition such as cancer, diabetes, and arthritis to name a few. 7 million of that group does not have health insurance or have been without it for a period of time since age 50. People with very good insurance receive the very best health care money can by, where as the people with poor insurance receive very little or no treatment at all.
The fact that America spends more money on health care costs than food is astounding. As more medical advances are being made, the more money that is being put towards it. Out of pocket costs for premiums and co payments have taken a huge chunk out of older workers household income. Self employed workers in this age bracket are being hit the hardest. Over half these entrepreneurs spent more than $3,600 on health care costs compared to only 16% of people covered by their employers.
Some baby boomers are concerned that there are not enough skilled people in the health care profession to properly treat all of them. Basically, the supply and demand model is not in their favor. Some suggestions might include doing away with the two-year wait list for disabled individuals to be covered by Medicare, let people get into Medicare early, helped by tax credits for people with low incomes, and add Medicare health accounts for expenses not covered by insurance. The road ahead is not well paved but I believe there is a light at the end of the tunnel.