Write a 4-page paper on a policy issue affecting the health of older individuals in the United States. An aging population raises many important long-term policy issues. The following issues addressed include: medical care needs versus supply, alternatives to institutionalization, alternative delivery systems, financing long-term care services, the role of informal support systems, housing, and income maintenance. You are expected to address one of these issues.

Examples of policy questions:

  • Is it possible to compress illness into the last months (days) of life, thereby reducing disease burden and futile end of life care for older persons? If it is possible, what can government do to promote such compression?
  • Currently, over 50% of the costs of institutional long-term care for older persons are paid for with public funds from Medicaid. What are the options being discussed for public and/or private funding? What would you recommend?