Ideas. Action. Results.

Mel Martinez and Allyson Schwartz: Addressing the nexus of housing and healthcare

Modern Healthcare

Wednesday, June 17, 2015

The U.S. population is growing older, with 10,000 baby boomers turning 65 each day. By 2030, America will be home to 73 million individuals age 65 or older and 9 million who are 85 and older, a doubling of both groups since 2000.

The aging of America will impose new demands on almost every aspect of public policy. Is our retirement system prepared? What types of transportation services will communities need to serve an older population? What impact will a population with fewer working-age individuals and a larger number of retirees have on government budgets? And how will federal healthcare programs be affected as well as the overall health of the population?

These can be daunting questions, but they also present new opportunities to develop creative answers to meet these challenges.

We start with the recognition that seniors are valued and productive members of our community. Many remain in the workforce and are leaders in business and government. Countless numbers are caregivers and volunteers. And they are our family members whom we love and respect. If we can identify ways to enable our seniors to remain healthy, active and contributing members of society, we all benefit.

That is the objective of the Bipartisan Policy Center’s Health and Housing Task Force on which we both serve. The task force, created this past March, hopes to shine a national spotlight on the critical nexus between housing and healthcare in meeting the needs of an aging population.

KEYWORDS: ALLYSON SCHWARTZ, BABY BOOMERS, BPC OP-EDS, MEDICAID, MEL MARTINEZ, SENIOR HEALTH AND HOUSING TASK FORCE