Failing Senior Care System Burdening Families
Stewart A. Alexander | 11.23.2007
The war is still the number one issue in the 2008 Elections, but even as we work to bring this war to an end, it is essential that the country look at real solutions rather than illusory for-profit “solutions” to our basic problems: the crisis facing an aging working class, poverty, homelessness, the cost of living, low wages, inflation, the recession, and many other issues on a national agenda of things-to-do. The government must take care of seniors and relieve their families, friends and caregivers of the financial burden.
Stewart A. Alexander
Socialist Party USA- Nominee for U.S. Vice President,
and candidate for nomination by the Peace and Freedom Party
November 21, 2007
A recently released study has revealed that working class families are taking on a heavier financial burden to care for seniors and aging parents. The additional expenses most often require working class families to make additional financial sacrifices and to reduce most of the discretionary spending for the family.
The report, which was conducted by the National Alliance for Caregivers, and Evercare, a division of the United Health Care Group, has urge the government to provide assistance to caregivers and families responsible for the care of seniors.
The report also revealed a sharp increase within recent years that families are paying out-of-pocket to care for seniors. The average out-of-pocket cost for family members and caregivers is $5,500 a year, and additional expenses will take that average up to $8,728.
Today, most seniors can not survive on the income they receive from social security or retirement pensions, and most seniors earn less than $1,500 monthly from social security and other pensions. Unfortunately, their small checks fall extremely short of being able to cover the most basic needs. Very often, family members and caregivers will need to cover the cost for housing, utilities, clothing, transportation, medical co-payments, and food expenses. Seniors without families often live in deep poverty.
The Social Security Administration has aged like most American seniors, and at the age of 70 the social security system is also experiencing hard times due to willful neglect. Some estimate that the present social security system will be bankrupted in 35 years, under the present rules, and will not provide for America’s aging population. Already the system is forcing millions of seniors to live at poverty levels. As the wealthy are relieved of social security taxes entirely after their first $95,000 in annual income, the burden falls entirely on lesser wage-earners. The workers who create the wealth of every billionaire receive no support in their later years from those they have enriched.
The Democrats and Republicans have failed to enact any effective federal legislation that will protect the well-being and future of the aging working-class retirees. The two corporate parties have failed to introduce a national health care program and both parties have leaned toward increasing privatization of America’s health care system. This is not a solution, but increase real societal costs and aggravates the problems.
Both the Peace and Freedom Party and the Socialist Party USA have been advocates for working class people and seniors for decades. The platforms of both parties propose a basic income that would alleviate poverty and would provide for the basic needs of seniors and all working class people. Both parties advocate the adoption of a national healthcare plan that would cover all medical needs of the entire population, a lack that is shameful today, as all other industrialized countries have such programs.
The war is still the number one issue in the 2008 Elections, but even as we work to bring this war to an end, it is essential that the country look at real solutions rather than illusory for-profit “solutions” to our basic problems: the crisis facing an aging working class, poverty, homelessness, the cost of living, low wages, inflation, the recession, and all the other results of an economic and political system ruled by profit, by the greed of the few, rather than by the real needs of the many.
Even under capitalism, with an effective movement for change, the government can be forced to take care of seniors and relieve their families, friends and caregivers of the financial burden. Real long-term solutions require a mass movement to bring socialism and true democracy to America, and place the resources of our country in the hands of its working people.
For more information search the web for: Stewart A. Alexander; Independent Voters Rejecting Democrats and Republicans.