Within the UK, the welfare state has been existance since 1948 in one way or another. Its aim was to support a strong economy by helping people who has become sick or unemployed to get back on their feet and re-enter the workforce. It was based on notions of sickness, wellness, employment and unemployment which no longer work, although few would dare acknowledge this.
People are increasing becoming aware of their own health issues long term as we have a better understanding of the body. However, we still treat wellness as all or nothing as oppose to learning to incoporate the management of work into the notion of feasible and flexible employment. So while social policy theories worry about the age time bomb exploding, people have failed to notice that the disability timebomb has already exploded as disability as become the steal mate situation when new understanding meets old social policy.
We need to change the face of welfare so it becomes about supporting people to manage their health and their contribution to society together in a manner which is far more positive than deciding if someone is employable or not as they is a job suitable for everyone or there should be!