As the U.S. population skews older, long-term care will become a more urgent need for families. The pandemic showed the current system falls woefully short.
The next few years are going to determine how you'll spend the most vulnerable years of your life, and who's going to pay for it. Pandemic excluded, the odds that you'll live to an advanced old age have increased. But living longer doesn't necessarily mean better quality of life. More than 40% of Americans over age 85 have Alzheimer’s disease and 70% of 65 year-olds are projected to need long-term care at some point.
The grim reality is that as people live longer, many will need long-term care. The pandemic exposed the poor quality of many care facilities, making it all the more clear that the status quo isn't sustainable. All developed countries are grappling with aging populations that will force them to decide how best to manage and finance the care of their elderly. The U.S. Congress is debating the question now as it grapples with President Joe Biden's spending plan.
Allison Schrager is a senior fellow at the Manhattan Institute and a contributing editor of City Journal.
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