California Partnership for Long Term Care

Online Press Room: "Will Boomers Bust the Budget?"

Aging, Unhealthy Baby Boomers Set to Undermine State Budget in Decade

UC Berkeley Study Looks at Economic Impact of Impending Senior Tsunami

Just as the state of California seems to be climbing out of a three-year budget crisis, researchers from University of California, Berkeley, are warning of a new fiscal threat – an unprecedented senior tsunami that could nearly double Medi-Cal costs over the next decade (from $6.6 to $12.4 billion).

“To families of seniors, employers and state budget officials this long-anticipated explosion of seniors is going to have dire consequences,” says lead researcher, Dr. William H. Dow of UC Berkeley’s Division of Health Policy and Management, which released the sobering socio-economic analysis. “The huge baby boomer generation is now retiring, and over the next ten years, California is going to see a 60 percent increase in seniors, jumping from 4.3 million today to 6.9 million by 2023.”

While economists have warned of this reality for years, the UC researchers dug deeper and unveiled an added and costly wrinkle. Despite ushering in Pilates, organic foods and other health trends, the largest generation in American history, baby boomers, brings a new reality to retirement: obesity. Dow and his group say the rapid growth of obesity and related health problems suggests increased morbidity for the baby boom generation. Combined with the huge growth in seniors, this dramatically drives up the need for long-term careCare given to someone who can no longer perform activities of daily living. and corresponding health care costs for the seniors.




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