'Medicare for All' Promises Divorced From Reality of Senior Care

By Peter Roff | Originally posted on Cagle Cartoons

If you asked American seniors to tick off the things most important to them, the preservation of their independence and a secure retirement would be right up there with continued good health and occasional visits from their children and grandchildren. Unfortunately for them, the economics of healthcare make that a challenge too many of them are unprepared to meet.

The Democrats running for president touting "Medicare for All" as the one-size-fits-all solution to the ongoing healthcare crisis are making promises totally divorced from reality. As the National Academy of Social Insurance explains, the existing program providing health insurance for elderly "contains many gaps in coverage" of which most Americans are unaware "until they or a relative" are on it.

Something to fill the gap is needed. Some seniors rely on supplemental insurance to fill some of the holes but even with that and with the federal government's relatively new program to provide assistance in paying for prescription drugs, the out of pocket costs associated with staying alive and independent in one's twilight years represents an attack on retirement security.

Medicare doesn't cover the cost of routine dental care, eyeglasses, hearing aids, and most long-term services and supports. It also doesn't cover custodial care for people who are unable to live independently if they do not have an acute condition requiring skilled medical services. People with Alzheimer's, for example, living in nursing homes would not have their residential bills covered by Medicare even though it would pay in the event of a heart attack, stroke, or the onset of pneumonia according to NASI.

There are ways around this, ways that don't involve raising taxes on younger Americans…

Read the full post here.