The baby boomer generation is aging, and those in the boomer generation will soon pose an unparalleled burden on government-subsidized health care systems like Medicaid. To sustain this impending burden, these systems must undergo significant reform. Most elderly individuals require long-term care at some point in their lives. Today, many baby boomers are providing this care to their elderly parents, and this practice has kept most of the elderly in need of care at home and out of long-term care facilities. As the baby boomers age, though, they will have fewer family members available to care for them and will depend on outside sources for care. Furthermore, the baby boomers will depend on Medicaid to pay for this care. However, this health care system is already strained, even with the current trend of family caregivers.
Fortunately, one health care program could lighten this oncoming burden: Programs of All-Inclusive Care for the Elderly (PACE). Through PACE, patients can remain at home and in their communities while receiving care from an interdisciplinary team of professionals. Regulations controlling PACE demand high-quality care, and operating PACE organizations have experienced positive outcomes. Because of the cost benefits of home- and community-based care, states that have enacted PACE have also saved on health care costs.
Current PACE regulations allow states to optionally offer PACE through Medicaid. However, the high start-up costs of opening new PACE centers deter the program’s expansion. This Comment will advocate for the federal government to subsidize these start-up costs. Subsidizing start-up costs will expand PACE through Medicaid, effectively reaching PACE’s target audience. By expanding PACE, elderly citizens will enjoy the benefits of the program, and the federal government will reap the cost savings. This solution will relieve the strain on Medicaid while supporting the baby boomers’ looming long-term care needs.



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