We are all going to die. That’s life. But I think we can all agree that the Grim Reaper shouldn’t be permitted to give us an early boarding pass because we don’t have enough money to pay for medical care. Well, maybe not all of us.
Enter the GOP health “care” plans.
Every version of health care that the GOP has put forward will cause massive cuts in Medicaid, a program that not only serves the poor, but has been crucial in assisting formerly middle class folks with nursing home expenses. In “Medicaid Cuts May Force Retirees Out of Nursing Homes,” The New York Times reports:
A combination of longer life spans and spiraling health care costs has left an estimated 64 percent of the Americans in nursing homes dependent on Medicaid. In Alaska, Mississippi and West Virginia, Medicaid was the primary payer for three-quarters or more of nursing home residents in 2015, according to the Kaiser Family Foundation.
“People are simply outliving their relatives and their resources, and fortunately, Medicaid has been there,” said Mark Parkinson, the president of the American Health Care Association, a national nursing home industry group.
If Medicaid is cut, fewer people will be able to pay for nursing homes. And they won’t only be poor people. They will also be middle class individuals who haven’t been able to save enough for extended nursing home stays, not because they were irresponsible, but because they simply couldn’t save enough to cover the excessive costs of care. This is not an idle speculation. It’s fact.
What would you do if you found out that you couldn’t support an extended stay in a nursing home without wiping out your family’s resources? No money for you. No money for your spouse. No money for your kids. No money. Debt City. End of story.
The answer seems pretty obvious: suicide. Your country doesn’t care enough about keeping you alive, and staying alive is an immense burden to those you love. Suicide under these circumstances wouldn’t be an immoral act. It would be an act of love.
I know, you think this is over the top. Not a reasonable response to a bad situation. Au contraire, dear reader. You or I may not like it or go along with it, but there will be many reasonable and responsible fellow Americans who will. Suicide rates will increase. And you know, this may not be such a bad thing from a purely financial angle. Nursing homes cost the government a lot of money. So, here is another angle: patriotism. Kill yourself to lower the national debt. Why not? At least you get to control your own future, or lack thereof, and not Big Government in Washington.
And here is another bonus for the middle class: freedom from worrying so much about retirement. Specifically, the fear of running out of money in retirement. (Of course poor folks don’t have this concern, because they don’t have money to run out.) It’s a great relief to know that you can always kill yourself before the money runs out. Long story short:
Forget your troubles
Come on get happy
Stop fretting judgment day
If you can pull the plug
When things get tough
Fear will drift away
Even if there isn’t enough
In the old 401K
O frabjous day!
Image from “Democurmudgeon.”