America’s federal government guarantees a number of benefits to its senior citizens. These benefits include healthcare and monthly take-home pay. Older Americans are also guaranteed a choice of quality housing as well as long-term assisted living facilities in case when they are necessary at the end of life. Such benefits are meant to make the individuals, who have actually worked for the entire life for the country, to retire in a dignified way (Day, 2012). The benefits are mentioned in the Older Americans Act. But the question arises whether these government benefits are based on entitlement or need. Mathematically, each of the older Americans is entitled to USD 74 on an annual basis. Considerably, this is not adequate to cater for all their needs. Owing to the fact that the funds to support this initiative are quite inadequate, there is a need for this service to be rationed to benefit older Americans who are considered to have the greatest economic and/or social need. More money should be allocated for those individuals who are flimsy and homebound, with severe disabilities, live in areas which are disadvantaged, sufferer of cognitive impairment, and are institutionalized (Kohl, 2010).
In the case when the initiative becomes need-based, the above mentioned groups of people are likely to have more benefits. As a result, older Americans will have their standards of care being maintained on a high level as well as a choice of where to spend their further life. However, changing the present practices may give birth to political turmoil in the United States (Kohl, 2010). Such a problem will arise since the new measure discriminates the wealthy. Thus, there is a need to revise how benefits allocation is carried out. Firstly, there are no adequate funds to cater for the large number of retirees. Besides, some of older Americans come from well-to-do families and including them in the program is nothing but draining of federal funds. All in all, the need-based approach has to be put in place in availing these services (Day, 2012).
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