4 pages/≈1100 words
Health, Medicine, Nursing
Healthcare Policy Priority Issue (Research Paper Sample)
Healthcare Policy Priority Issue
Healthcare Policy Priority Issue
Baby Boomers constitute a considerable portion of the American population. As the Boomer generation begins to age, the proportion of Americans over the age of sixty-five (those who consume the greatest volume of healthcare resources) will shift greatly. By the time the last boomer will reach retirement age, nearly twenty percent of the American population will have attained the age of sixty-five or older compared to approximately thirteen percent today. It is projected that by 2030, the number of Americans aged over sixty-five years will exceed seventy million. The drastic increase in births that occurred between 1946 and 1964, which was christened the “baby boom,” caused a number of public services such as schools to increase capacity beyond what was required in the immediately ensuing years (Institute for the Future, 2010, p. 17). However, the state of affairs is strikingly different for health care. While Boomers will create a noticeable increase in demand for services, this demand will persist instead of plummeting because both Boomers, as well as the Generation X and Y that came afterwards, are living longer and experiencing more chronic maladies. With increased life expectancy, Boomers will attain retirement age, live for many more years and, therefore, require more years of health care services.
The Pervasiveness of Chronic Illnesses among Boomers
Ageing Boomers will reshape the provision of health care services because while there will be more older people, these individuals will be suffering from chronic diseases that will have to be managed and, therefore, requiring significantly more health care resources. Changes in lifestyles and advancements in healthcare practices have ensured that people are able to live longer. New techniques in medicine have reduced early deaths resulting from cancer and cardiovascular diseases. However, the management of chronic conditions poses the most apparent challenge to health care. With the ageing of Boomers, people with multiple chronic conditions are anticipated to grow from the current 8.6 million to about thirty-seven million by 2030. According to health experts, more than sixty percent of Boomers will be managing multiple chronic conditions (American Hospital Association & First Consulting Group, 2007, p. 5). It is important to note that the challenge that chronic conditions pose to health care is not limited to Boomers.
The occurrence of chronic conditions such as hypertension, heart disease, cancer, chronic kidney disease, arthritis, and diabetes will continue to grow as future generations attain the age of sixty-five. Because patient disability levels and chronic diseases are the principal factors that influence health care spending, the increasing occurrence of multiple chronic conditions is likely to put more pressure on the existing health care system.
Obesity is one of the chronic illnesses that impose a significant burden of the American health care system. The occurrence of obesity, which is a key risk factor associated with many diseases, has been on the increase, and will continue to pose challenges to the healthcare system. In the United States, ...
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