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August 5, 1999Health Care 2020
forecasts how the "graying" of America will endanger the future of U.S. health care
WASHINGTON - Baby Boomers have always exerted a huge influence on society and institutions as they have moved through life - like a "pig moving through a python." Hudson Institute's new book, Health Care 2020: The Coming Collapse of Employer-Provided Health Care
, details the impact that the 76 million Baby Boomers near retirement age will have on the U.S. health care delivery system.
Hudson scholars and Health Care 2020
co-authors William Styring III and Donald Jonas examine the future of America's health care delivery system as a demise of employment-based health insurance, an increase in personal medical savings accounts, and possible intergenerational warfare.
Hudson Institute released Health Care 2020
at a news conference today at the National Press Club.
Styring explains that the "graying" of America will forever change all social programs, not just health care.
"When Boomers enter the new millennium, they will be retiring in droves, straining employer health plans, clogging promotion pipelines, and Social Security and Medicare will become bankrupt," Styring said.
Jonas emphasizes that the research for this book highlights how the changes in health care will pose serious threats in the health care treatment and delivery system for all generations.
"The emphasis will be on cheaper care for the elderly, such as home health care, and 'kidcare' programs will suffer as more and more money is spent on the elderly majority population," Jonas said.
Highlights of Health Care 2020
The ratio of those aged 25-64 to those over 65 stays at about 4 to 1 until 2010. In 2011, the first Boomer turns 65. By 2020 that pool of potentially productive employees to "wannabe" retirees drops to 3 to 1. The year of 2030 drops the ratio to nearly 2 to 1.
With the demise of employment-based health insurance, pressure will mount on "kidcare" programs as more resources are spent on the elderly Boomers. More attention will be given on how to reduce the cost of health care for the elderly.
The "bioethics" debate will become a bombshell. How much health care can we afford for the very old and sick? Should every conceivable procedure and therapy be used, or is someone to "play God" and determine whether there is some "duty to die?"
The authors also offer three possible scenarios, ranging from an idyllic world to a disaster scenario.
The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, the nation's largest philanthropy devoted exclusively to health and health care, funded the research and production of Health Care 2020
with a $199,000 grant. Based in Princeton, New Jersey, the foundation became a national institution in 1972 with a bequest from its namesake, the founder of Johnson & Johnson.
Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Vice President Robert Hughes recognizes the cutting-edge research in this ground-breaking book.
"This book is timely," Hughes said. "Considering the strain that the Baby Boomers will place on the health care system over the next 20 to 30 years, my impression is that solutions tied to the tax system are clearly on the radar."Health Care 2020
is available for $16.95 per copy, with a 25% discount for orders of 25 or more. To order, call 800-HUDSON-0 or 317-545-1000 for more information. Additional background on Hudson Institute and Health Care 2020
is also available on the Institute's website, www.hudson.org.
Hudson Institute is an internationally recognized public policy research organization that develops solutions and forecasts trends for governments and businesses. Founded in 1961 by the late Herman Kahn, the not-for-profit organization has more than 75 researchers and employees at it its corporate headquarters in Indianapolis and offices in Washington, DC; Lansing, Mich.; Madison, Wisc.; Tampa, Fla.; London; Montreal, and Brussels, Belgium.