Are the elderly in our country receiving better healthcare at the expense of young people? With a national healthcare system that could implode at any moment, younger people do seem to be shouldering an unnatural number of costs and benefitting little in return. Older people, while having paid into the system for years, receive procedures, surgeries and other treatments that might benefit them little in the long run. This situation hardly seems fair for the greatest nation on the earth.
Healthcare debates have been raging for years with no real solutions being offered at the table. With the baby boomers reaching retirement age, the result is a strain on younger people, those just entering the workforce, who are hardly in a position to shoulder the expenses brought on by such a large number of elderly people. What kind of solution can we arrive at that will take the burden of the old from the young? Is there such a solution possible as arguments and opposing viewpoints fly back and forth?
There are many who argue that Medicare itself should be completely overhauled in order to curb rising costs and reallocate funds to young people who can’t afford even basic preventive medicine. With the 80 and over age group growing fastest of all age groups, it’s hard to make a decision regarding fund allocations because this group usually requires the most expensive and intensive medical care, including the growing technological field of life extending treatments.
How did we reach this point as a nation? How has our healthcare system disintegrated so much that young people can’t get the care they need now in order to offset possible care needed in the future? Who is responsible for the state of the system, and who ultimately shoulders the responsibility of those who need care, regardless of their age? Children and youth are the responsibilities of their parents. Through programs like Medicaid and Medicare, the burden of the elderly falls upon the nation’s taxpayers.
This leaves the young people, those entering the workforce or advancing as they can, to pick up the slack. In today’s unsteady economy where people continue to lose jobs every day and businesses continue to cut benefits, it becomes increasingly difficult to afford basic preventive healthcare. How can a dwindling work force continue to fund a growing number of those retiring? This causes resentment and encourages talk of rationing healthcare. Plus, quality of care drops as doctors have to find ways to avoid malpractice lawsuits. In this situation no one wins.
How do Americans see this crisis? Medicaid doesn’t work well for those who fall through the cracks, as it doesn’t provide dental, vision and other coverage for adults in most states. Healthcare should be available to everyone, not just a certain age group. Preventative care should be a must for everyone. Rationing health care for the elderly could turn into a nightmare. The World Health Organization lists our nation as the only one that doesn’t provide health care for all of its citizens. This is a travesty that must be solved before our nation’s young people become too sick to shoulder this huge responsibility.
American citizens are on both sides of the fence when discussing what can be done. Is it a right or a privilege? If we can’t find middle ground and work out a viable resolution, will the elderly continue to receive the lion’s share while breaking the backs of the young.
This article was written by Karl Stockton, a renowned health care expert and wellness fanatic. It was written on behalf of Kanetix, the place where you can compare insurance quotes from anywhere.