Term Paper: Medicare and Medicaid: Government-Sponsored Programs

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[. . .] However, current discussion surrounds the transformation of Medicaid into a block grant program, which would result in states providing additional funding to Medicaid programs or the elimination of certain services (Ettner 252). In other words, access to Medicaid programs may be threatened by governmental influence in the coming years.

The Importance of Medicare and Medicaid to the Elderly Population

Based upon the previous discussion, it is evident that millions of American elderly and disadvantaged persons depend on government-sponsored Medicare and Medicaid programs in order to obtain necessary health care services. Depending upon age and financial situation, a person may qualify for one or both programs. Both offerings provide patients with a number of quality services and relatively simple access to healthcare providers results in extremely effective access to health care. As the American population experiences growth spurts and the baby boomer generation gracefully ages, the dependence on Medicare and Medicaid to provide health services will be increasingly crucial to well being for the elderly population in the United States. If these programs do not maintain their current state of success or maintain similar circumstances, millions of Americans may be forced to accept other alternatives, including the possibility of living without health care insurance and access to medical care and treatment. These alarming truths may dramatically influence the state of a relatively healthy population with access to technology, medical care, and pharmaceuticals that are critical to well being and healthy living.

Research Methods and Resources

In order to assess the current research and statistics regarding Medicare and Medicaid programs, a number of resources were utilized, including journal articles and other internet sites of interest. However, the primary resources were taken from journals that discussed a number of characteristics and demographics regarding the past, present, and future states of Medicare and Medicaid in the United States.

Much research exists concerning the topic of the availability of prescription drugs for Medicare enrollees who do not rely on private insurers for their primary means of health benefits. Therefore, it was feasible to discuss this topic within the context of this discussion, since many viewpoints exist regarding the importance of prescription drug reform in this country. Since elderly persons are a primary source of voting power in the United States, it is realistic that government leaders are concerned with the outcomes of Medicare and Medicaid reform or lack thereof in a society that necessitates restructuring in many other areas.

Basic statistics regarding Medicare and Medicaid were evaluated in relation to their appropriateness for this particular assignment. It was determined that data regarding the number of current and future Medicare enrollees is extremely significant for the purposes of this discussion. Furthermore, rates of satisfaction amongst Medicare enrollees are particularly useful in determining the usefulness and value of the current Medicare system. Eligibility factors for Medicaid participants are also significant because they provide information regarding the specific criteria which qualify particular persons for Medicare assistance. Each of these factors contributed to the overall discussion of Medicare and Medicaid issues and their importance to the aging population.

Conclusions and Recommendations

The discussion has resulted in a number of conclusions regarding the significance of Medicare and Medicaid to the aging population. Primarily, elderly residents in the United States greatly depend upon these programs to obtain quality health services in times of illness or prevention. Since these programs are well established as the only source of universal health care that exists in the United States, it is difficult to imagine that Medicare and Medicaid will undergo dramatic changes that will result in comprehensive reform movements. However, the possibility and the fear always exist that Medicare and Medicaid may not be viable options for the future, particularly in times of government deficit spending and extensive budget cuts across the board. Perhaps the most feasible alternative for the current population is to develop mechanisms that will sustain Medicare and Medicaid in their current states for as long as possible. Statistics demonstrate that satisfaction levels in these programs remain high in contrast to private health insurers. One mechanism that may determine the future success or failure of Medicare is the establishment of a prescription drug plan that will enable elderly residents to obtain the necessary drugs at an affordable cost. Until this plan is developed and approved by government leaders with the cooperation of health care organizations as well as pharmaceutical firms, the costs of prescription drugs will continue to rise and will continue to be absorbed by those who need them. In this scenario, elderly residents are likely to be able to afford the skyrocketing costs of prescription drugs and will choose to obtain them through other means or to not purchase them altogether. Consequently, the refusal to purchase prescribed drugs will contribute to the overall decline in mortality rates as well as overall well being of an increasingly maturing population.

Works Cited

Ettner, S. "Medicaid Participation Among the Eligible Elderly." Journal of Policy Analysis and Management 16.2 (1997): 237-255.

Economist. "Say Yes to Drugs." Economist 363.8279 (2002): 28-29.

Korcok, M. "U.S. MDs Respond to Pay Cuts by Turning Backs on Medicare."

Canadian Medical Association Journal 166.10 (2002): 1322.

ManagedHealthcare.Info. "High Costs Driving Elderly Across Border on Prescription

Drug Runs." ManagedHealthcare.Info. 2002.… [END OF PREVIEW]

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Medicare and Medicaid: Government-Sponsored Programs.  (2002, December 3).  Retrieved July 18, 2019, from https://www.essaytown.com/subjects/paper/medicare-medicaid-government-sponsored/2633650

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"Medicare and Medicaid: Government-Sponsored Programs."  Essaytown.com.  December 3, 2002.  Accessed July 18, 2019.