Oneof the greatest advancements in the delivery of healthcare is Title XVIII ofthe Social Security Act called “Health Insurance for the Aged and Disabled”, ormore frequently known as “Medicare”. As a part of the Social SecurityAmendments of 1965, the Medicare legislation provides publicly financed healthinsurance to the elderly population.
For the first time in U.S. history, thegovernment handles direct responsibility to pay for a portion of health care onbehalf of vulnerable population groups (Shi and Singh 2015).
Thus, more of thepopulation has access to health care. Thereare many advantages and disadvantages to the multifaceted congressional amendmentof Medicare. One of the negative impacts of Medicare is the baby-booming and longevityof the population that will require more insurance coverage. Annually, over ninemillion people require either long-term care or a home health agency or a day-facilitythat will aid in activities of daily living (Harris-Kojetin et al. 2016). A 2015report from the Medicare Trustees found that Medicare’s Hospital InsuranceTrust will deplete its cash reserves by 2030 (Williams). Once the revenue is exhausted,what will happen to the patients that will still require health care but cannotafford the entire bill? Even so, Medicare only covers a fraction of healthbills if the patient does not have coverage from all of the individual parts ofMedicare. Therefore, patients are nevertheless obligated to front hefty billsif he/she has progressive health issues.
Medicarehas reduced barriers to medical care for America’s most vulnerable citizens –aging adults living in poverty. As compared to when the Medicare first cameinto effect, Medicare has contributed to a life expectancy that is five yearshigher simply by ensuring access to care (Leonard). Medicare helped raise thestandard of service offered by many health facilities in this nation. Since theprogram is federally regulated, the residence of the beneficiary does not influencetheir eligibility and benefits. The financial support made available formedical costs allows older adults to use their monetary resources for other necessities.Thegeriatric population is increasing at a drastic rate. America’s population overthe age of 65 is projected to more than double from 40.
2 million in 2010 to88.5 million in 2050 (Vincent and Velkoff 2010). While I support healthcareopportunity to the disadvantaged elderly population, I believe there arelimitations to Medicare. More access means more patients will be utilizing thehealth care system. Are there enough staff members, from physicians to nurses,to give adequate treatment to the growing patient population? What will happenin the years to come? As the number of beneficiaries grows at an unprecedented degree,there is a sensible fear that funds from taxpayers will not be able to endure thegrowing demand.
The national government will be forced to compensate when thecountry is already facing a trillion-dollar deficit. Currently, Medicare isshowing a positive impact by providing care to the vulnerable population but Ibelieve Medicare will soon show a negative impact when the revenue is dwindlingfrom the growing elderly population.