With a rapidly aging Baby Boomer population, in general those between 50 and 70 years of age, end of life issues have taken on a new meaning at the social, political, and health care levels. This group of older people makes up approximately 30 percent of the entire national…
According to Dartmouth and the Mayo Clinic, Medicare provides between $25,000 and $50,000 for end of life care, due to the common need for older citizens to receive multiple specialist care in their last years of life (Abelson, 2009). These are very high payments in an already-strained Medicare system and, if the end of life care goes on for many years, families might be forced to take on the financial burden when government-sponsored healthcare payments are refused. Because approximately 30 percent of the population is over the age of 50, the scope of the problem is massive, especially during a period where Medicare payments are going to be reduced by the government in the next ten years.
The Baby Boomer generation makes up 74 percent of all prescription drug spending, which is a $100 billion market (Reece, 2010). This is big business for pharmaceutical companies and various health care providers and contributes highly to their profit margins. Profit earned from this high-consuming, aging group of citizens helps different hospitals and pharmaceutical companies expand their business practices and make certain capital improvements. This professional group, as well as certain retailers, would likely be satisfied to see more aging citizens in the health care system, as older Americans also spend more on personal care products and health products than any other consumer group (stlouistimes.com, 2007). High concentrations of end of life care could spell regional or nationwide profit margins in many retail organizations, health care providers, and hospitals. There are considerable ethical concerns in this situation, as multiple specialist care might be provided to aging citizens when such analyses are not required simply to ensure profit and receive continuous governmental payments through Medicare.
At the political level, the current health care reform package ...
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