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Essentially, healthcare reform is term used to describe the various policies that affect the delivery of healthcare services. Ideally, healthcare reform attempts to provide more quality care to citizens, improve the quality and access of healthcare and broaden the range of healthcare providers that citizens can choose from.
There is no doubt that the American population demographics are remarkable changes, which are projected to have very far-reaching effects on the provision of healthcare and practice of healthcare psychology. The demographics indicate that the American population is gradually progressing towards a large older population. This trend will definitely have some effects as the population continues to age. The effects will be witnessed in various fronts.
Impact on healthcare system
Research suggests that the baby boomer generation, which includes individuals born between 1947 and 1964 forms the largest generation born within the United States. A considerable number of these individuals are highly educated. Subsequently, they will change the effect of aging on the populace by being very careful on issues that deal with health. The healthcare industry will continue to witness massive changes as this generation ages and the effects will be felt in the healthcare sector (Institute for the Future, 2007). In the event that a considerable number of this generation is dependent on Medicare, all citizens will feel the effects.
On the other hand, the aging of the healthcare professionals raises stern concerns that a considerable numbers of the healthcare workforce will retire at the same time and the demand for their services is increasing with every passing day. Moreover, the declining population of individuals between the ages of 18 and 30 raises doubts whether these professions will attract adequate numbers of health workers to fill the voids left (Institute for the Future, 2007). Further, the effects of aging will necessitate the need of more medical professionals. There will be a strong need for geriatric professionals, nurses, psychologists and doctors.
In addition, the increasing number of the aging population has some effect on the workforce. As people live longer, they also work longer. This aspect has both its negative and positive sides. With a larger working force, the younger individuals are forced to compete with very experienced workers. This scenario can lead to immense tension in the places of work, as the different generations have varied mentalities towards work and they approach work with different attitudes (Institute for the Future, 2007).
In conclusion, the effects associated with the aging population will become very apparent in the next few years as their numbers continue to grow. The society will be faced with a dilemma of trying to strike a balance between the needs of an increasingly aging population and the varied needs of a younger generation.