Tuesday, October 6, 2009

The Real Health Care Crisis

With all the hoopla about health insurance, lots of people ask me my opinion, which along with $1.85 with get you the best cup of coffee in Des Moines at Cup O' Kryptonite. My opinion: the current problems are only the tip of the iceberg.

The real crisis is about 10 to 20 years down the road. The Baby Boomers will be going to the nursing homes. Think about this. During the "Summer of Love" in 1968, the first Baby Boomers were 23 years old. If dementia and Alzheimer's are problems for our 70 and 80 year olds now, what do you think it will be like when the Boomers start seeing white rabbits again? Instead of streaking football games, they'll be streaking the hallways of long term care facilities. Instead of burning their draft cards and bras, they'll be burning down their kitchens because they forgot to turn off the frying pan. Instead of smoking pot they'll...never mind, they'll still be smoking pot. but they'll have long term memory loss in addition to the short term memory loss.

Where will their care come from? Who's going to pay for it? We don't have enough facilities or qualified workers to handle them all. And if science continues to reduce the mortality rate, more and more bodies with fried minds will live longer and longer. The "if it feels good, do it" generation hasn't saved their money like their parents did, and what they did save has been lost in the market downturns. They have fewer children, and most of their children have moved away.

The good news? Those of us with aging parents won't have to worry about being empty nesters. When the kids move out, the parents can move in. We won't be bored with no one to take care of.

Or maybe the Green Movement will become the Soylent Green Movement.