Abstract and Keywords
Public policy advances in the field of aging in the United States have lagged compared to the growth of the older adult population. Policy adjustments have been driven by ideological perspectives and have been largely incremental. In recent years, conservative policy makers have sought through various legislative vehicles to eliminate or curb entitlement programs, proposing private sector solutions and touting the importance of an “ownership society” in which individual citizens assume personal responsibility for their economic and health security. The election of a Democratic majority in the U.S. House and the slim margin of votes held by Democrats in the U.S. Senate may mean a shift in aging policy directions that strengthens Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid, if the newly elected members are able to maintain their seats over time. The results of the 2008 presidential election will also determine how the social, economic, and other policy concerns will be addressed as the baby boomers join the ranks of older Americans.
Keywords: baby boomers, ideological perspectives, demographic variables, Social Security, Supplemental Security Income, Medicare, Medicaid, prescription drug benefit, Older Americans Act, long-term care, White House Conference on Aging, Mandate for Change, the Fair Minimum Wage Act of 2007, the Medicare Prescription Drug Price Negotiation Act of 2007, National Commission on Entitlement Solvency, Commission on Congressional Budgetary Accountability and Review of Federal Agencies, senior citizens
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