Problem... aging in America + 1000 words +original - 87387

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Aging in America Older people today are more visible, more active and more independent than ever before. They are living longer and are in better health. But as the population of older Americans grows, so does the hidden problem of elder abuse, exploitation and neglect. Like the rest of the world, the US is an ageing society. This will place substantial additional pressure on publicly-funded health, long-term and income support program for older people. This paper analyses the demographic changes that the US faces and how they will affect those program, concentrating on the factors that may affect the economic burden that these program impose. Demographic change and its consequences for health care An ageing society Like the rest of the world, the US is an ageing society. Between 2000 and 2050, the number of older people is projected to increase by 135%. Moreover, the population aged 85 and over, which is the group most likely to need health and long-term care services, is projected to increase by 350%. Over this time period, the proportion of the population that is over the age of 65 will increase from 12.7% in 2000 to 20.3% in 2050; the proportion of the population that is age 85 and older will increase from 1.6% in 2000 to 4.8% in 2050. Two points are noteworthy about this demographic change. First, while a significant proportion of the US is elderly, much of Europe already has a higher proportion of its population that is over the age of 65. For example, in 2000, 16.0% of the population in the UK and 16.4% of the population of Germany was over the age of 65. Thus, other countries are already having to cope with the impact of an ageing society to a greater extent than the US. Largely as a result of higher fertility rates and immigration, America’s population, while ageing, is nonetheless likely to remain distinctly younger than other developed countries. Second, the future strains of population ageing in the US derive not so much from the growth in the elderly population or the 85 and over population, per se, but rather from the slow projected growth in the non-elderly, working age population. Between 2000 and 2050, the population age 16–64 is projected to grow by only 33%. The ratio of people ages 16–64 to those age 65 and over (the aged dependency ratio) is projected to decline from 5.1 in 2000 to 2.9 in 2050, a 43% decline. The slow growth in the working age population will mean that there will be relatively fewer people to pay the taxes necessary to support public program for the older population and fewer people to provide the services that older people need. Retirement income Retirement income is financed through a combination of public and private pensions, savings, and welfare payments. Approximately 44% of households including a person over the age of 65 have private pensions; <5% of older people receive means-tested welfare payments. Publicly-financed retirement pensions are primarily funded through the national Old-Age and Survivors Insurance program, more commonly known as Social Security, which is a universal income support program for older people and is the main source of income for the retired. In addition, the Disability Insurance program provides income support to people with disabilities with a significant work history. Retirees are eligible for reduced benefits at age 62 and full benefits at age 65. In order to receive benefits, individuals must work for at least 10 years or be the spouse of an individual who worked for at least 10 years. Benefit levels vary with an individual’s income during his or her working life, with lower-income people receiving a higher replacement rate than higher-income people. Unlike most private pensions, Social Security benefits increase each year with inflation. Social Security and the Disability Insurance program are primarily financed by payroll taxes levied on salaries. Employers and employees each pay 6.2% of earnings for a total of 12.4% of salary, up to a maximum level, which increases each year with average wages. In 2000, Social Security and Disability Insurance paid $415 billion in benefits, approximately 4.2% of GDP. Economic importance As the population ages, public expenditures are projected to grow as a per cent of GDP. Table 2 presents official government projections for Medicare and Social Security expenditures and projections by Wiener, Illston and Hanley for long-term care expenditures. These estimates are static rather than dynamic extrapolations of existing patterns of use and cost. Overall, Medicare, Social Security, and the Medicaid funding for long-term care are projected to grow from 6.8% of GDP in 2000 to 13.2% in 2050. Health and long-term care program are projected to increase from 2.6% of GDP in 2000 to 6.7% of GDP in 2050.
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                                         Aging in America
Older people today are more visible, more active and more independent than ever before. They are living longer and are in better health. But as the population of older Americans grows, so does the hidden problem of elder abuse, exploitation and neglect.

Like the rest of the world, the US is an ageing society. This will place substantial additional pressure on publicly-funded health, long-term and income support program for older people. This paper analyses the demographic changes that the US faces and how they will affect those program, concentrating on the factors that may affect the economic burden that these program impose.
Demographic change and its consequences for health care
An ageing society
Like the rest of the world, the US is an ageing society. Between 2000 and 2050, the number of older people is p

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