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Long-Term Care: Aging Baby Boom Generation Will Increase Demand and Burden on Federal and State Budgets

GAO-02-544T Published: Mar 21, 2002. Publicly Released: Mar 21, 2002.
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As more and more of the baby boomers enter retirement age, spending for Medicare, Medicaid, and Social Security is expected to absorb correspondingly larger shares of federal revenue and crowd out other spending. The aging of the baby boomers will also increase the demand for long-term care and contribute to federal and state budget burdens. The number of disabled elderly who cannot perform daily living activities without assistance is expected to double in the future. Long-term care spending from public and private sources--about $137 billion for persons of all ages in 2000--will rise dramatically as the baby boomers age. Without fundamental financing changes, Medicaid--which pays more than one-third of long-term care expenditures for the elderly--can be expected to remain one of the largest funding sources, straining both federal and state governments.

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Aid for the elderlyElder careElderly personsEntitlement programsEntitlementsFederal aid programsFuture budget projectionsHealth care programsLong-term careMedicaidProgram evaluationBaby boomers