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APHA Scientific Session and Event Listing
Session: A Great Society for Older Americans: Have Promises Been Kept?
4200.1: Tuesday, November 07, 2006: 2:30 PM-4:00 PM
A Great Society for Older Americans: Have Promises Been Kept?
Legislation enacting Medicare and Medicaid was passed more than 40 years ago, amidst the heyday of “Great Society” programs. Medicare amendments have expanded eligible populations, expanded benefits, and offered beneficiaries options for joining managed care Medicare programs. Medicaid amendments spurred the dramatic growth of home and community-based programs intended to delay or avoid nursing home admission for frail older adults. Creative integration of Medicare and Medicaid funds has led to models of care for “dual eligibles” unforeseen in the 1960s. At the same time, housing options stimulated by private investment have expanded to help older and disabled populations “age in place.” Clearly, such measures were designed to improve life for millions of older Americans; however, the extent to which they achieved what their architects hoped to accomplish remains debatable. In this session, speakers take stock of these Great Society-era programs, addressing how well their promises have been kept. One speaker will focus on the sustainability and complexity of modern-day Medicare and Medicaid programs, particularly from the viewpoints of legislators and beneficiaries. The second speaker will focus on the intersection of health care and housing policy for older Americans, with an emphasis on how those with disabilities can live independently as long as possible. Both speakers will address how health care supported by Medicare and Medicaid can address the needs of an aging Baby Boom population. The discussant will provide remarks based on a distinguished career as a national researcher and policy expert at the interface of aging and public health.
Learning Objectives: 1. Explain how amendments to Medicare and Medicaid legislation have influenced the availability of health care services and benefits for older Americans. 2. Discuss how health care and housing policy developments have increased options for older Americans living at home with disabilities. 3. Understand how federal and state budget cuts stand to undermine progress made in health care and housing policies for older Americans.
Organizer(s):Ruth Palombo, PhD
Discussant(s):Terrie Fox Wetle, PhD
Moderator(s):Ruth Palombo, PhD
2:30 PMWhen the Safety Net No Longer Holds: Implications for a Generation of Americans
Stuart H. Altman, PhD
3:00 PMBooming into the Future: A New Social Contract for a New Generation of Seniors  [ Recorded presentation ]
Len Fishman
See individual abstracts for presenting author's disclosure statement and author's information.
Organized by:APHA-Task Force on Aging
Endorsed by:APHA-Committee on Affiliates; APHA-Conference of Emeritus Members; American Indian, Alaska Native and Native Hawaiian Caucus; Chiropractic Health Care; Food and Nutrition; Gerontological Health; Podiatric Health; Public Health Education and Health Promotion; Social Work

The 134th Annual Meeting & Exposition (November 4-8, 2006) of APHA