I was momentarily excited when I read the following headline, “The World Braces for Retirement Crisis” on an AP article published December 30, 2013. I optimistically expected a story that would at the very least mention the possibility that catastrophic medical and long-term care costs would be part of the coming retirement crisis. No such luck.
Once again, I was disappointed (but not entirely surprised). The article only reported on shrinking, no longer existing retirement and pension plans that will force people to have to work longer. It didn’t make even a tiny, tangential connection between shrinking pensions, longer work lives, and how much these factors will exacerbate the existing high odds and costs of needing long-term care.
As I have reported in this blog time and time again, mainstream media usually fails to address this 5,000 pound elephant in the room: the impending Silver Tsunami of Baby Boomers in first-world countries throughout the globe, who will have long-term care expenses that they are pitifully unprepared for (see the italicized footnote below).
It’s very frustrating. The public tries at every opportunity to deny the compelling, high odds they might need long-term care. Mainstream media too often aids and abets these efforts, as this article does.
“Congressional Budget Office, 11/07 [https://www.cbo.gov/sites/default/files/11-13-lt-health.pdf] *Total spending on health care would rise from 16% of gross domestic product today to consume nearly half of the GDP in 75 years. * Federal spending on Medicare and Medicaid would rise from 4% of GDP today to 19% in 2082. This new study shows significantly higher federal spending on Medicare and Medicaid under current law than other official projections do, which typically assume that spending grows much more slowly in the future than it has in the past. Although projections by CBO and by the Medicare trustees track each other relatively closely for the next two or three decades, by the end of 75 years, Medicare spending under CBO’s projections is about 50% higher. The study concludes that, without changes in federal law, federal spending on Medicare and Medicaid is on a path that cannot be sustained.” Source: Galen Institute, “Health Policy Matters” e-newsletter (11/16/7). Find in sources at: CBO on Health Spending Outlook 1107. URL: https://www.cbo.gov/sites/default/files/11-13-lt-health.pdf