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AARP Survey Reveals Boomers' Health Care Needs in Delaware
Date:5/29/2008

AARP, Other Industry Leaders Convene for Forum

WILMINGTON, Del., May 29 /PRNewswire/ -- AARP announced today the release of a survey of Delawareans ages 50-64, that reveals concerns regarding health care access and affordability. AARP presented the study and convened a forum to discuss health care needs and disparities in Delaware. View Delaware Health Care: A Study of Challenges, A Case for Change at http://www.aarp.org/de.

The key survey findings show that controlling costs and improving access to health care are Delawareans' foremost concerns.

Opinion leaders representing Delaware's corporate, non-profit, social service, and governmental agencies presented a wide range of data and information. Throughout the discussion, the panelists quickly came to a consensus that there is an urgent need for health care reform.
Some key messages that participants took away from the event included:

-- Health care reform is a national issue. AARP is the convener of forums

such as this one all across America. The message has been consistent -

serious problems await the nation in approximately ten years. According

to Medicaid in Delaware, by 2011, the first wave of boomers (born 1946-

1964) will turn 65. Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security needs will

double by 2035. Long term care is very expensive and will be in great

demand as boomers age. Federal funding will be a key element to

solutions to the health care crisis.

-- Prevention is the key to long-term improvement of health care

difficulties. AARP's message confirmed that issues affecting its

members 50+ cross over into all ages. Chronic disease such as arthritis

and diabetes are overwhelming much of today's health system, and

healthy habits that begin in childhood are the key to lifetime health.

Nutrition, education and improved access are important in improving the

overall health of people under age 50. A changing population and

cultural diversity increase the challenge of prevention.

-- Primary Care Physicians are on the decline. Many medical students are

choosing specialties that offer greater insurance reimbursement rates.

Despite the fact that community health care centers are part of the

solution to the problem, they often experience challenges in recruiting

and retaining family practitioners who are willing to work in community

health. Note that the average student loan debt for medical graduates

is $140,000. Kent and Sussex counties are considered "health care

professional shortage areas."

-- Through partnerships, corporations, non-profits, governmental agencies

and social service providers can amplify their voices and achieve

positive results. Everyone in the community needs to have a role in

solution-seeking. Solutions can begin with engaging opinion-leaders and

eventually reach grassroots levels. In the upcoming months and years,

solutions will be the focus for partnerships and forums like today's.

Panelists:

Rita Landgraf, AARP State President

Richard Johnson, AARP National Board of Directors

Jim Coyne, Astra Zeneca

George Meldrum, Nemours

Deborah Wilson, Metropolitan Wilmington Urban League

Dave Michalik, Medicaid

Leah Jones, Delaware Health Care Commission

Janice Nevin, Christiana Health Care

Joann Hasse, League of Women Voters

Lolita Lopez, Westside Family Health Care

Scot Federman, United Way of Delaware

Julia O'Hanlon, University of Delaware

For more information on AARP's activity surrounding health care issues, visit http://www.dividedwefail.org.

Additional information: http://www.aarp.org

AARP

AARP is a nonprofit, nonpartisan membership organization that helps people 50+ have independence, choice and control in ways that are beneficial and affordable to them and society as a whole. AARP does not endorse candidates for public office or make contributions to either political campaigns or candidates. We produce AARP The Magazine, the definitive voice for 50+ Americans and the world's largest-circulation magazine with over 33 million readers; AARP Bulletin, the go-to news source for AARP's 39 million members and Americans 50+; AARP Segunda Juventud, the only bilingual U.S. publication dedicated exclusively to the 50+ Hispanic community; and our website, AARP.org. AARP Foundation is an affiliated charity that provides security, protection, and empowerment to older persons in need with support from thousands of volunteers, donors, and sponsors. We have staffed offices in all 50 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, and the U.S. Virgin Islands.


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SOURCE AARP Delaware
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