The ever rising population demographics in the United States have been a great strain to healthcare. This is because a growth in population means that the number of aging individuals in need of health care has continued to increase over the years. This means that more finances have to be pumped into health care in order to address the demands of the ever growing population. The current population size of the United States is about 300 million people. However, this population size is projected to rise over the next fifty years to about 390 million people. This means that if all factors are held constant then the aging population will continue to increase over the years. Another important factor that is likely to affect health care delivery in time to come is the fact that obesity has become a great problem in the United States social strata. The main sources of obesity are the food choices that the American society has made to be a preference. The quality of these foods which are rich in cholesterol and other kind of fats is low in terms of preserving the health of the American population. Other sources of obesity in the American population are the development of laziness and inactiveness among a bulk of the American population. A reasonable proportion of the American population does not exercise in order to burn the excess that results from the American food habits. This paper aims at looking at both the idea of an ever growing aging population that is need of health care as well as the rise of obesity cases within the American health care system and how these two important factors are likely to affect the delivery of healthcare in the future.
II. Aging and Its influence of health care delivery
The current population size in the United States in about 300 million. However, this population has grown sharply since the 1990’s. Researchers have projected that the population size of the United States is going to be about 390 million by the year 2050(Lewis, 2009, p.345)One of the important questions that arise from the over-rising population is the force that is behind the growth of the American population. There are three important factors that have resulted to the rise of population size in the United States. The first factor is that due to the development of technology there are better ways to control diseases that killed a lot of people in the past. This means that things like life expectancy has increased in that people can now be able to live longer. In addition, life mortality cases have reduced. This means that lesser kids do not die young due to childhood diseases meaning that there is more assurance for the survival of more kids. The other important thing that has led to an increase in the population of the United States is the fact that there are more food supplies that compared to the past (Huff, 2008, p.191). In the early days, calamities like reduced the availability of food which meant that many people died of hunger. However, due to the development of technology for example genetic engineering food production has increased therefore making more people comfortable having more kids in that they can be able to support them in terms of providing food. In addition, current technology has converted more manual jobs into machine-driven works. This has reduced the extra fatigue that people in the past suffered from thereby causing them to live longer.
The increasing population demographics can also be attributed to environmental factors. For example, in the early day’s response to environmental calamities were not timely managed. This means that these environmental calamities often caused adverse consequences to the affected population. However with the development of disaster management strategies, populations are assured of more safety and can therefore live for long. Bearing in mind that environmental factors and technological advancements have led to the increase of aging people in the U.S. population demography, health issues associated with the aging population has been a challenge in the U.S. health care system.
Some of the key diseases that affect the aging population in the United States are heart and kidney related diseases. The treatment of these diseases requires the investment of a lot of capital. However, it is important to note that some of the aging population has families to take care of. In addition, not all of them have retirement benefits from which they can draw their medical benefits from. This means that a lot of aid has to be put into health care in order to take care of their expenses (Jonas, 2011, p. 468). It is important to note that there are other patients that are also in need of Medicare due to the diseases that they are suffering from. This means that the increase of the aging population who are in need of Medicare limits the number of people who are seriously ill and in need of health care.
One of the ways to solve the complication of having a large number of aging patients in need of Medicare is to introduce health insurance policies so as to make sure that every individual has health insurance to take care of their health bills once they begin to age. This remedy makes sure that only seriously ill individuals access Medicare and not the aging population.
III. Obesity and its influence health care delivery
The current rate of obesity in the United States is between 20-25% of the population. This means that a reasonable proportion of the American population suffers from cases of obesity. Researchers indicate that current rates of obesity within the United States are projected to increase within the United States in the next 10 to 20 years. This is because there is a low likelihood of the American population rethinking its feeding habits. In addition, the introduction of recreational activities like computer games within the comfort of their homes has caused many kids to avoid exercising. The failure of kids to exercise has exposed them to the risk of becoming obese.
The increase of cases of obesity in the United States has caused the health care system to be exposed to the challenge of dealing with diseases resulting from obesity. Bearing in mind that health care is partially catered for through government financing, other patients who suffer from other serious illness do not get the opportunity of benefiting from government finances. Since most incidences of obesity can be prevented, it is important to embark on activities that can help reduce diseases that result from obesity (Duchovny, 2011, p. 9). One of the ways in which incidences of obesity can be reduced is through educating people on how to improve their feeding habits. By improving eating habits people can reduce the amount of fats and cholesterol that they take into their bodies. Since it is sometimes difficult for people to compromise their eating habits exercising should be encouraged among the American population in that it helps burn the extra fat resulting from the eating habits of the American population (Daly, 2005, p.62). One of the remedy to the complications in healthcare resulting from obesity is making sure that obesity related illnesses are not taken care of under Medicare. If people realize that treating obese related diseases is expensive then they will be willing to exercise and watch their eating habits.
IV. Projection to the future
The introduction of health care bills in the U.S Senate and Congress is a clear indication that the government is rethinking the future of health care in the United States. However, the current Obama Care has been controversial due to its structure and costs. Health care strategies that are to be made in the future have to be cost effective in their implementation and have a wide coverage. Due to the rising incidences of age-related health issues, healthcare is likely to comprehensively take care of the age-related health issues.
In addition, because obesity is a problem that faces more than 25% of the American population, it is important for health care to extend the coverage of health care to obese related diseases without affecting the delivery of health care services to patients suffering from serious illnesses. Though it is important for healthcare to adapt in future by accommodating obesity-related illnesses through the setting aside of more finances, it is more important to reduce cases of obesity by encouraging people to exercise more and watch their eating habits.
Daly, J (2005). Professional nursing: concepts, issues, and challenges. New York: Springer Publishers Inc. p61-67.
Duchovny, N (2011). How Does Obesity in Adults Affect Spending on Health Care? Washington D.C.: Congressional Budget Office. p 6-10.
Huff, R (2008). Health promotion in multicultural populations: a handbook for Practitioners and Students. London, United Kingdom: Sage Publications Inc. p188-193.
Jonas, S (2011). Health care delivery in the United States. New York: Springer Publishers Inc. p465-469.
Lewis, C (2009). Aging: the health-care challenge: an interdisciplinary approach. Northampton, Massachusetts: F.A. Davis Co. p343-346.