Collapse of the Welfare State
Health and retirement pension (social security) represent the major roles of the welfare state. The aging population, shrinking workforce and pending baby-boomer influx, will stretch reserves set aside for pension. The recommendations made by many, is to raise the age of retirement to enhance the pool in a pay-as-you-go system however this is intrinsically flawed as disability rises in direct proportion to aging. This will stress the health care system further as the primary complaint of "pain" drains the health infrastructure and further drains the disability pension plan by increasing the unfunded liability. Privatization of pension plans approach disability as a loss of limb model and as a result the welfare state is further compromised in other ways. This paper describes a model to salvage the welfare state, but requires a shift in many governments' philosophy and policy.
Keywords: Welfare State, Health, Social Security, Aging Population, Model Salvaging the Welfare State
Dr. E. Lyle Gross
Clinical Senior Lecturer, Faculty of Medicine, University of Otago