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Medicare, The Good, the Bad, the Indifferent

Medicare, The Good, the Bad, the Indifferent

Medicare and Medicaid were signed into law on July 30, 1965, by then-President of the United States Lyndon B. Johnson. A lot of changes have been made to both health care systems over the years.

The good thing about Medicare and Medicaid is that they do provide some health care coverage to older Americans as well as to poor Americans and disabled Americans. The (controversial) drug benefit was added on December 8, 2003, when the president of the United States, George W. Bush, signed the Medicare Modernization Act (MMA) into law. There are those who question the value of this act, but there are others who think that it is the best we can do.

There are also some very bad things about Medicare and Medicaid that nobody in power seems very interested in fixing. The biggest problem is that there is no provision for extended care. One of the greatest fears of older Americans is that they will require the need for extended care in a nursing home. The cost of these total care facilities is astronomical. An entire lifetime of savings can be decimated in short order. The cost of private extended care insurance is prohibitive for most. Another bad thing is that the cost of Part B Medicare continues to rise each year and the cost usually exceeds the cost of living increase in Social Security.

Medicare and Medicaid are both better than nothing at all, but sometimes not by much. The drug benefit isn’t all that beneficial to most, and the rising cost of the deductible is forcing some older people to choose between food and medicine. Medicare and Medicaid could use a major overhaul, but don’t hold your breath.

See you next time,

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