Every day, I watch the news, and most medical commercials are for new drugs that Medicare will be targeted for. Or else, they're for things that Medicare Advantage will now cover, maybe for FREEEE (as Joe Namath puts it).
And every day here, I hear stories about how people are grasping at their inheritance and or their duty and almost killing themselves over it.
Rather, I propose this. When you get Medicare, you're capped at $1.5 M including SNFs and ALs. You want the latest cancer treatment and you're asking society for $500K for the drug alone? Well you can have it but if it doesn't work, then there has to be a limit.
A million and a half frankly is more than I anticipate getting. I'm still a boomer being born in 1964. Do you know how angry the 30 somethings are about having to even support how things are going? They're not going to rush in to help, really.
You really need to consider what you're writing:
"What I'm saying is that Medicare is a giant limitless well to keep seniors going medically..." There obviously is NO limitless aspect b/c Medicare is funded, with limitations, and many aspects aren't covered. I know that simply from preparing tax returns.
If you really believe that Medicare needs to be addressed, I'd be interested in knowing how many of your elected reps you've contacted? What other methods have you taken besides posting on a forum?
People who want change need to be serious about getting involved, studying and making accurate conclusions, and finding groups with which to work.
You also wrote:
"We can have more of this, or we can have a redistribution that would focus more money and attention on rehabs/snfs, such as federal funding to make working there more lucrative, along with more incentives that focus on quality of aide care. This would help more seniors and more families in the long run."
There is some merit to this, but health care like some other topics can be turned into a political football, and it has to be remembered that people allegedly working toward legislation often have their own motives, which has nothing to do with consideration of the elderly. Many others, though, who have served in the military, take a different vantage point. But Congress still has old tyrants who won't retire.
Cancer treatments (you hear about them on any cable news in the ads, how could anyone not) get LESS effective the more of them you try. Optivo and Yervoy, live longer, for example. Yeah...by the time you need these drugs, the chemo, rads and surgery have most likely disabled your quality of life to the point you need 24/7, but the pitch is "live longer" with a 65-ish couple just hiking (!) around and camping at their personal trailer. Which isn't so realistic.
We can have more of this, or we can have a redistribution that would focus more money and attention on rehabs/snfs, such as federal funding to make working there more lucrative, along with more incentives that focus on quality of aide care. This would help more seniors and more families in the long run.
They will tell you supplements don't work, yet, people that take supplements aren't filling up doctors offices and hospitals. They poopoo chiropractic care, yet, it is proven science that proper alignment keeps your body healthier and more able to fight disease. Oh, and see what kind of response you get when you ask about acupuncture, even though it is the oldest known medical intervention and actually works.
I don't think we can say you only get x$ spent to care for you. I think we need to educate people that medical intervention is not necessarily the best course of action and how to determine at what point is quality more important then quantity.
I, also, think that doctors should not be allowed to use us as guinea pigs. If your poison isn't going to realistically heal me, stop. My sister had cancer that couldn't be cured, far to advanced and her body was full of it, yet, an oncologist actually tried to make her do chemo. WTH? So she loses any quality so you can see just what happens to this body that is decimated with cancer when you pump it full of chemo poison. This is really what needs to change but, as long as people say yes, here we are.
Now, if your point is that there are people who try and forgo death by any means necessary, well past the point of any quality of life, that is an entirely different matter. There are many people here who have lamented medicos attempting to keep loved ones alive "at any cost" when we, the caregivers, see the incredibly decreased quality of life. But the driving concern isn't the money being spent, but rather the suffering that our LO's endure, trying to eke another week or two out of life.
Or is your point that, as you say there are people here who are "grasping at their inheritance and or their duty and almost killing themselves over it." and if there's a cap on costs, it provides these people with an easy "out"? "Gee, sorry, mom, would love to take you to the ER for your chest pains, but you've reached your cap"...is that something you want to hear one of your LO's say to you when you reach that point? And frankly, how is a CAP in paying medical costs going to help those particular people? If anything, it just puts those "doing their duty and almost killing themselves" in an even worse position, unless the government is going to also allow euthanasia for people alongside with the cost cap, because people will run through that 1.5 million, still be alive, and have no one to give care other than family members.
There are so many factors that impact the costs. Since you mentioned prescription drug cost, please know that it costs an American pharma company $1 billion to bring a single medication to market (if it actually passes FDA approval). This includes R&D, clinical trials, manufacturing, etc. Then, the govt, in all its "wisdom" has decided that that successful drug patent should end for the company after 12 years. So, the company has 12 years to recoup the cost (which includes making a profit, otherwise it's a charity) before generics replace it.
Then, there's the cost of medical care. Then the fact that 100-year olds is the fastest growing demographic in the US, which puts a long-term and stressful burden on families who are even willing to take on their care themselves.
I just searched "What countries take the best care of their elderly" and the US is #6, after Norway, Sweden, Switzerland, Germany and Canada -- all countries with populations that are about 280 million LESS than the US. How hard can it be to take good care of only 5 million people, like in Norway, which also earns its own revenue from its oil resources and therefore doesn't need to tax its citizens as much? Two years ago I spent 2 weeks traveling around Sweden (all south of Stockholm). I realized that in all our travels I never saw a medical clinic or hospital or signs for either. I think their "healthcare" is to never get sick in the first place. I did see a surprising number of chunky young women there. Once obesity hits these places, and then diabetes, and then all the attendant problems (like renal disease, etc) let's see how well they fair.
The cost of non-reimbursed facility care, in contrast, is about $120K/year, or $600K for five years. Paid home care is NOT cheaper (about $170K, 24/7).
That is five people who could be paid for, for five years. But as it is, said cancer patient above will probably end up in the same space of having to spend down anyway.
The country as a whole seems to have a blank check when it comes to treatment, but super tight purse-strings as to what we do now with all these 85, 95 yos who survived as a result.
I suggest doing this would help more people overall, which is what government is for.
One never knows if they will be in a serious accident or have a serious illness. In either case that $1.5M would run out rather quickly. Thus, that senior could be without Medicare for the next 10-20 years. One option would be to go on Medicaid. But imagine if a percentage of seniors did that? That would raise our taxes as Medicaid is tax funded.
Oh, what Broadway Joe is trying to sell isn't sponsored by the U.S. Government, and no health plans are for free. What is free is the telephone call that will try to get one to change their secondary insurance.