Elderly people and people with disabilities form a significant part of the United States population, yet the funding available for the programs that address their welfare is insufficient. This is an unacceptable status as this makes the lives of these people more difficult than they should be. The government of the United States has the sole responsibility of making the lives of these people easier by increasing funding for their initiatives. Increasing funding to these initiatives may involve deducting amounts of funds allocated to other sectors in the United States. Schools of thought contrary to this proposition may find this initiative a means of weakening other sectors and initiatives in the United States (Fischer et al., 2017). This couldn’t be further from the truth as there are sectors within the United States that receive more funding than they need. Government initiatives should make a shift and audit their priorities to ensure that critically underfunded sectors are better funded in posterity.
Elderly people and people with disabilities have physical and mental shortcomings that make them special and interfere with their economic productivity. These people are, however, entitled to government support in the spirit of equality within the entire nation. Unfortunately, the institutions mandated with ensuring that the lives of these critical groups are made easier remain underfunded (Ornstein et al., 2017). The meager budgetary allocations to these departments mean that elderly people and those with disabilities cannot lead normal lives. These departments offer loans and grants that are inadequate to meet the needs of these people. The number of elderly people and people with disabilities that benefit from these initiatives remains fewer than those who do not access these services. This represents a fundamental weakness in the United States policy on support for the elderly and disabled people. There is an urgent need for the government to review policy and make amendments that guarantee the lives of elderly and disabled people.
Elderly people and people with disabilities are victims of critical health concerns. The majority of funds within their disposal are spent catering to their healthcare needs. This leaves them with little to spend on healthcare, housing, and healthy food. Poor housing results in social isolation and increased mental illnesses such as stress and depression, while a poor diet causes more physical health concerns (Landeiro et al., 2017). Poor access to healthcare means that the conditions they suffer from deteriorate and cause them even more pain. This phenomenon results in a vicious cycle that worsens the lives of elderly people and people with a disability making the rest of their days miserable. The lack of urgency from the government in addressing this critical issue comes as a surprise considering the upward trend in the aging population (Ellison et al., 2018). Projections indicate that the population of the United States will comprise many elderly people in the next few decades, owing to the increased life expectancy and scientific advancements.
Increased human rights advocacy means that the government should take a more active approach to ensure that elderly people and people with disabilities lead comfortable lives. There are multiple human rights groups in place that advocate for these specific groups. Despite the push and pressure on the authorities to better the situation for them, efforts leave much to be desired (D’cruz & Banerjee, 2020). Stone (2018) indicates that high housing costs for disabled and elderly people cause a decreased use of funds in other sectors. These people have been forced to cut their spending on transportation by 67%, food by 37%, and healthcare by 51%. This shows that vital aspects of their lives are catastrophically affected, and that government efforts have been disappointing in alleviating the problems that these people face. Additionally, elderly people are compounded with loneliness and social isolation, and this affects their ability to participate in social events and democratic processes (Li et al., 2017). This negativity, compounded with the already mentioned degrading aspects of their lives, means that these people suffer greatly, and there is a need for urgent effort.
Alternative schools of thought against this debate argue that increased funding implies additional taxation, lack of housing units, and reallocation of funding. Increased taxation of the young and people with disabilities are not appropriate for some schools of thought (Fischer et al., 2017). They argue that deducting more taxes from their hard-earned funds to support the least productive members of society is not appropriate. They argue that it is not their responsibility to support other members of society that are unable to take care of themselves (Feng, 2019). They argue that this responsibility should not be a national issue but instead a familial concern. They believe that elderly people and people with disabilities should rely on their family members for financial assistance. This thinking is misleading as supporting citizens of the United States and ensuring they are all equal is the responsibility of the government as engraved in the constitution. Additionally, all families are not equally capable of meeting the needs of their loved ones hence the need for federal government support.
Housing units remain deficient for the elderly and people with disabilities because efforts have not been made to remedy this shortcoming. Those against the idea that initiatives for the elderly and people with disabilities are underfunded claim that funding cannot solve this problem entirely (Chan & Ellen, 2017). They claim that funding and offering more finances to these people is not sufficient in ensuring they reside in better houses. While such an argument bears some weight, there is a need to realize that more funding means a higher ability of departments to secure better housing in other ways. In addition to making changes to existing government policy and building more units, the initiatives can pay a significant amount of rent owed by the elderly and disabled people (Christophers, 2017). The direct payment of rent means that the meager income available to this needy group can be directed to leading a healthy life. The funds can purchase more healthy food, increase expenditure in healthcare, and increase traveling to alleviate the effects of being stagnant and socially isolated.
Relocation of funding from other sectors is another critical concern that has arisen from the opponents of higher funding for the elderly and disabled people. These schools of thought claim that reducing funding from other sectors may dent their efficiency while directing funding to non-productive members (Macdonald & Morgan, 2020). The proposal to reduce funding from some institutions of the United States government does not seek to undermine these institutions. Every department of the United States is important and plays a crucial role in ensuring that the nation is well run. Audits, however, reveal that some departments of the United States government are intense corruption zones. Misuse of government funds and stealing of the same remains a glaring concern, and these are informed by excessive funding to these sectors (Macdonald & Morgan, 2020). Some United States departments receive more money than they can spend, effectively choking other departments of funding. One of the most studied departments is the military, with a hefty budget when compared to its expenditure (Butler & Higashi, 2018). There is a need for policy initiatives to evaluate each department and its needs and identify departments with more funds than they need. The additional funds should be channeled to the elderly and disabled people initiatives. In addition to meeting the needs of disabled people and bettering their welfare, this initiative will increase efficiency within other government sectors.
In conclusion, the state of the elderly and disabled people initiatives is disappointing. It paints the wrong picture of a government with disoriented priorities. The 21st century has been an era of massive advancements in all fields, including technology and medicine hence the increased life expectancy. People are living longer than they did a few centuries ago and should not be punished with a low-quality life in their late years. The United States must appreciate that disability is not a personal choice but a matter of chance and, sometimes, developmental errors. As such, anybody and their relatives are liable to becoming disabled at some point in their lives. People who become disabled must not be treated as lesser humans but must be empowered as stipulated in the constitution and bill of rights. Housing, healthcare, food, and transportation have emerged as pertinent issues that affect these people. Some people may feel a little pressed by these proposals, but they must recall the spirit of sacrifice and devotion this country was built on. Americans must live up to the values of the founding fathers.
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