OT - A intriguing "open lette"r on health care ...

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Lew Hodgett wrote: \

Not true, sounds reasonable, but is unfortunately an urban myth, not supported by research ... "the growing ranks of the elderly are projected to account for just 0.4 percent of the future growth in health care cost" - Center for Studying Health System Change.
Actually, the practice of "fee-for-service" is the real reason for your "alarming rate" increase.
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"Swingman" wrote:

Sounds like you and/or your source haven't been in a nursing home lately.
The scenario goes something like this:
Nursing home cost is in the $160-$180/day range.
Medicare covers either 90 or 120 days (I forgot which), then the patient covers the cost until their total assets are less than $1,500.00 then Medicaid kicks in.
Patient is allowed to keep $40/month from their monthly S/S payment and signs over the rest to Medicaid which now covers all expenses.
At a minimum, your are looking at $4,800-$5,400 per month plus medical costs such as doctors and drugs which can easily add $1,000-$1,500 to the monthly total.
Had a guy tell me it cost him over $65,000 the previous year to keep his wife in the same nursing home my mother was in for almost 2 years.
Go to a nursing home with 200-300 patients and your looking at some serious money.
I'm sure Robert (NailShooter) is looking at a similar cost structure for his parents right now.
It's not pretty, but it is reality and something MUST be done while we still can.
Sounds like your source needs to do a little more research.
Lew
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Lew Hodgett wrote:

You're totally ignoring what was quoted. I gave you my cite, let's see your's, not some guesstimate on your part.
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"Swingman" wrote:

Obviously, it ignores reality.
No guesstimate on my part.
I signed the checks as well as the forms for my mother.
Lew
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Lew Hodgett wrote:

The dollar outlay wasn't what was questioned; the statistics not cited on the fraction of healthcare for elderly that swing's reference seems to refute was the subject.
The point is that with proper attention to personal care there could have been a plan in place to mitigate the financial hardship.
Speaking of which, if you haven't, now would be a good time to get your own plans completed.
The point we're making along w/ many of our reactionary friends is it really chaps our axx@!es that we're expected to pay for those who choose not to take care of themselves when we've done the responsible thing one way or the other--either in home or ensuring the resources are there for extended care in the eventuality it's needed.
How i has become such a widespread belief that that somehow is government's responsibility for everyone is beyond my ken.
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Lew Hodgett wrote: ...

If he had been responsible and bought the long-term care policy, he would have been in far better shape.
With mother the combination of her SS widows benefits paid daily cost of the assisted living facility until forced to nursing home. The combination of the care policy and SS covered virtually all of that cost.
The point is, folks need to plan for their futures and take steps before they reach a crisis, not be like TheDoofus.
At least then, there would be some possible chance of aiding some of those who actually need it rather than all who abrogate their responsibilities to the State.
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"dpb" wrote:

Don't know that he didn't have.
What happens when supplemental coverage maxs out?

And when your mother went into the nursing home, didn't medicare/medicaid pick up a large portion of the cost?
That cost was probably considerably more than herr health care costs were say five years previously which is why my comment thst medical expenses as one approaches end of life are often astronomical and are what is breaking the Medicare/Medicaid bank.

A little tough to plan for your future when trying to survive on a minimum wage job.
Lew
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Lew Hodgett wrote:

No. LTC picked up after the waiting period and paid until her date of death.

Still, it's the individual's responsibility. Get a better job. Start early. Don't mimic TheDoofus and saddle the rest of us for your lack of responsibility and initiative.
If from age 20 to 65 you haven't been able to advance beyond minimum wage, then there's a real problem--the question is whether that problem is a real limitation or a lifestyle choice. I don't have much problem w/ helping for the (relatively) few who have the real handicap; I've a MAJOR problem w/ the rest (like the ex-SIL I've fondly ( :( ) named TheDoofus who live w/o any comprehension of tomorrow and expect somebody else to clean up their messes. Thank you, but I decline to participate willingly in that process.
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dpb wrote:

...
Actually, I responded a little too quickly to be precise.
Medicaid was never in the picture; she had (since she and Dad had planned ahead) assets in place to take care of herself--Medicaid only comes into play in the case of an indigent part. (Let's not get off onto to the rant over those who deliberately scheme to transfer assets to achieve such... :( Those a-holes _ought_ to take your advice in another response or have such advice administered gratis for them.)
Anyway, back to the correction/addition--of course Medicare paid for covered medical expenses; there's essentially no avoiding that since private carriers now cease to write coverage past age 65. But, at least there _are_ premiums although it appears they are set insufficiently low at present.
And there's the demonstration of where it seems the rub will be w/ single-payer when attempting to add in the vast unwashed masses: there's no way those who aren't covered can pay the premiums that will be required afaict.
As for the other subthread--as for Japan and Germany, the size of the economies and their demographics make comparisons probably of little direct help to the US. I'll admit I've not studied them so perhaps there's something that could be of some benefit but I've not heard a peep from the powers that be that either is anywhere in the mix. Certainly Japan has been through even worse economic travails than the US; I don't no precisely how much of that is possibly related to such programs but it would be unlikely to be totally unrelated I'd surmise.
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dpb wrote:

And those costs paid my Medicare were higher, lower, or about the same as 5 years previous?
Lew
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Lew Hodgett wrote:

immaterial to the point...
Medicare is the only game in town (w/ supplemental "hole" coverage, of course).
You're wanting even more of same aiui...
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dpb wrote:

But, to demonstrate there's no "one size fits all", actual medical costs were considerably less last several years than had been at your arbitrarily selected time frame.
But, you have no idea how long she was in an assisted living facility as opposed to the nursing home and I'm not going into further detail but suffice to say the total premiums paid for both LTC policies were more than repaid in benefits...
That isn't always so, of course, as if it were universally true the underwriters aren't doing their actuarial job correctly. The point is that if one will plan ahead and be responsible enough to not blow every disposable nickel on instantaneous gratification, even those w/ relatively modest incomes _CAN_ be in decent shape for those circumstances w/o adding their burdens to the general budget.
I know, that's a novel concept any more it seems... :(
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"dpb" wrote:

No it is exactly the point.
Health care costs esclate as the end of life approaches which is exactly why Medicare/Medicaid are in trouble and a solution must be found.
Lew
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Soylent Green?
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Great minds....
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Yeah. All this talk about escalating health care and the end of life makes me think about the movie Soylent Green. Not exactly the same thing, it does give one to thought.
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Lew Hodgett wrote:

But the sidebar was about LT care and not dumping oneself onto the gov't.
The costs in the given instance that were Medicare are essentially irrelevant to that discussion as there no longer (thanks to our omniscient pol's) is any other game in town past 65 so that part is a wash whether one has planned for LT care or not.
I noted upthread that while there are at least some premiums it is apparent that they aren't actuarially sound or there wouldn't the problem.
This then revolves back to the problem that I fail to understand how one can take one or more demonstrated to be non-self-funding programs and expect another of the same ilk to somehow magically solve the problem.
I've said my piece; I've yet to hear or see any convincing arguments about how the proposals presently in the trial-balloon stage are going to make any real change other than to massively increase the size of the federal deficit...
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"dpb" wrote:

"Dumping".
Great choice of words, it says a lot.
What would you have a person do who has played by the rules, saved for a "rainy day", provided insurance coverage, then as a result of an unforeseen illness or accident, find themselves in debt in the 6 figure range and has to declare bankruptcy?
Hand them a gun?
The above is happening every day at an alarming rate.
The so called "Middle Class" is being eaten alive by out of control medical costs which by and large are being driven by health care insurance exceptions which then leave the policy holder holding the bag.
It is just one of the signs of a broken health care system which is not going to be fixed with advanced planning by an individual for an individual.
Lew
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Lew Hodgett wrote:

That's what catastrophic policies are for...you don't have one???
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"dpb" wrote:

And after it gets maxed out, then what?
Lew
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