Medicare, Medicaid and Old Folks
As thinking, feeling, caring human beings (whether Christian or not), we ought to care deeply about the plight of poor people. That doesn't seem to be the case when it comes to discussions of Medicaid funding, so for those pseudo-Randians that are willing to let the poor die off, it should also be noted that Medicaid pays for 60% of nursing home patients. 60%. They don't all start out poor. But with an average cost of $75K per year for a semi-private room, at some point they (or should I say "we"?) are going to burn through their savings, maybe their families' savings and then have to give up their remaining possessions (house, car, etc) in return for Medicaid coverage. If you're poor, it's tough to get get old but if you're old long enough, you're almost certain to get poor.
So the Republicans try to scare older folks by accusing the Obama administration of cutting Medicare benefits to pay for "Obamacare" (without telling them that some of the benefits of the ACA help them like closing the donut hole in Medicare prescription drug benefits and that oh by the way, the Ryan budget proposal made similar cuts but then gave the money to the 1%ers). The idea is apparently that Medicaid only helps "those people" - the Republicans are not very specific about who "those people" are but they certainly insinuate that they're not "us". But unless you really are a 1%er or you've had the foresight to buy long-term care insurance (and really, very few people even know it exists) or you die a quick death, you're likely to be in a position where you'll either need Medicaid or you'll bleed your entire family's finances dry or I guess you'll die in a gutter.
So what's your plan?
Labels: Economics, Politics