Academic journal article Care Management Journals

The New Politics of Old Age Policy, 2nd Edition

Academic journal article Care Management Journals

The New Politics of Old Age Policy, 2nd Edition

Article excerpt

THE NEW POLITICS OF OLD AGE POLICY, 2ND EDITION Robert B. Hudson (Editor) Baltimore, MD: Johns Hopkins University Press, 2010, 392 pp. (softcover), $30.00

This volume is devoted to the impact of aging in the United States on social policy and vice versa. Twenty-three authors, most, though not all, from academic homes, have produced what amounts to a textbook focusing on problems arising from a growing and diverse population of elderly people in this country.

Whereas the first edition dealt mostly with gerontological and normative issues, this one approaches its material more pragmatically, concentrating on issues influenced by existing social policy and demography. Age-related public policy has come under more and more scrutiny in the United States as the aging population increases. Additional programs to service this group are competing with other 21st century policy initiatives, such as the war in the Middle East and environmental control.

The book is divided into three sections: "Perspectives on Aging Policy," "The Populations of Aging Policy," and "Public Policies on Aging." Theoretical perspectives are highlighted in the first section, which is six chapters long, including a synopsis of aging policies and circumstances attendant to their becoming law (as, for example, Medicare Part D). Also recognized is the notion of senior power.

The second section, consisting of four chapters, addresses the notion that "the elderly people" are not the homogeneous group that emerges in our political discourse. In it are discussions of life changes, of populations of color and immigrant groups, and of long-lived individuals and the people who take care of them.

The final segment concentrates on developments in social welfare policy: in Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid, and the Older Americans Act. …

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