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« More rational democracy | Main | Sickening »

April 27, 2011


Susan Zoon

They're kicking it up a notch with ... what else... hostage taking: Boehner flirts with debt default if Democrats don't accept Medicare cuts.

Robert Lipscomb

One big point gets overlooked in all this. It is dependence of retirees on Medicaid, rather than Medicare. My uncle was the long time administrator of a county nursing home in the (very) rural white south. A very high (probably majority) of his patients were on "welfare" and Medicaid rather than Medicare. In fact, it is now a routine strategy for retirees in this rural, poor, white, Republican county to transfer their farms/houses to their children five years before they anticipate going to a nursing home - "so the government won't get it".

You see Social Security and Medicare really do not cover even the limited cost of a county nursing home. Medicaid has better coverage, but to qualify, one must not have any significant assets. Most people in the bottom 80% of the country end up with only a house. So, that becomes a liability. If on the other hand, the asset is transferred at least five years prior, one can qualify for Medicaid and "welfare". This will cover the cost of a nursing home in the poor, rural, white, southern Republican south.

So,the assertion that the Republican plan will not affect those over 55 is false. Plus, it will place a heavy, heavy burden onn local governments. I know from personal experience that geriatric issues for non-urban local governments comprise a lot of what they do.

I would really like to see this medicaid-retiree issue get more play because way too many people think Medicaid is just for deadbeats.

Robert Lipscomb

A quick addendum on a point I did not explicitly make. The ritiree whose only real asset is their house or farm must sell that asset and use the proceeds for their nursing home expenses before they can qualify for Medicaid. This is in contrast to the Republican cry about the Death Tax.

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