Baby Boomer longevity will put pressure on Medicaid, experts say

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The higher life expectancy and large population of the baby boomer generation will exert extra pressure on Medicaid programs, a panel of experts told the Joint Economic Committee hearing Thursday.

As a result, Medicaid will need more federal backing to help low-income individuals, said Judith Feder, a professor and dean at the Georgetown Public Policy Institute in Washington, D.C.

Feder and other experts proposed several options to ease the future pressure, including access for everyone to a basic or limited long-term care benefit, or a national program to create a public "floor" of asset protection. Beneficiaries could then get the care they need at an affordable price without having to give up all of their life savings, as they would have to with Medicaid today, Feder said.