An aging America may not necessarily be a quiet and content America. People born in the post war boom, challenged religion, government and authority in all their forms. As an aging generation, they want the healthcare system to take care of them.
Baby boomers have grown up in what can be termed the age of technology and optimism, with mankind at the center of the universe and economic progress an ever churning engine. Much of the healthcare conversation in America is not about doctors and patients but about costs and insurance. Americans spend a great deal of money on healthcare. All the recent talk about healthcare seems to be impacting expectations on the role of doctors and healthcare outcomes. Americans expect doctors to save lives.
One of the challenges of healthcare in America is getting people to understand it, to connect their behavioral choices with healthcare outcomes and to value wellness over consumption. Feeling good does not always lead to feeling well. America can be an indulgent society and today’s youth want it all and they want it now. Americans do not value their healthcare until it is a problem they can feel or until they understand what is happening to them as something that can threaten their mortality. Americans want to live for ever and their attitudes regarding the role that a physician should play regarding preserving life is moving in that direction.
“At a time of national debate over health care costs and insurance, a Pew Research Center survey on end-of-life decisions finds most Americans say there are some circumstances in which doctors and nurses should allow a patient to die. At the same time, however, a growing minority says that medical professionals should do everything possible to save a patient’s …”