Socialized Medicine?

It seems like I might as well post since we all may just be waiting for the apparently imminent demise of bindlesnitch and some of us seem to have stopped posting already.

I’m back to Maureen, myself. More to the point, to Maureen’s medical care and its cost.

I write a check for between four and five dollars about once a month. This is the copay on her calcium pills. She’s in one of the better nursing homes – having the top ranking on the Medicare website. (I’d post a link to that but I seem to have misplaced the bookmark.) It’s a decent place, not anywhere I’d want to live but people who have seen a number of them agree that it’s pretty good.

The nursing home bills the county for between one and two thousand dollars every month and that seems to be paid both from Maureen’s social security and payments by the county. More may be paid that I don’t see. She is visited weekly by a nurse practitioner and a psychologist. Until recently she got physical, occupational and speech therapy 3 times a week. She would not cooperate with physical therapy and the therapists’ opinions on the other two were that she could accomplish what she needs to on her own which means that Medicare stops paying. They say Medicare will start paying again if we go outside the home for physical therapy. I should learn more about that next week.

She was hospitalized for about 6 weeks and on a ventilator for about half that time. She’s had several visits with doctors outside the home and the hospital since leaving the hospital.

Did I mention I pay for her calcium pills about $4.00 a month? That’s all I pay. It’s all I have paid. The money billed to the county and SS is handled through her group home because they are the designated payee of her SS and through the county via Medicaid. She has a healthy SSI income as recipient of my father’s survivor benefits.

She is covered by Medicare and Medicaid and our county is pretty liberal. It feels a little like living in Europe must when it comes to this.

I pay significant property tax to the county relative to the value of my house and I have no idea how much other tax incidentally to the county and the city. For awhile I tried not to shop in the city because a portion of the city sales tax goes to pay for the godforsaken behemoth football stadium the state forced on us. I’ve given up on that And even go to the rebuilt Lake St. Target from time to time. The other stores I frequent are in the county if not the city.

 

A brother and one of my kids pay more property tax than I do. A sister pays less, the rest of the family lives out of the county. My parents paid for over 60 years. Both parents paid into SS for much longer than they drew from it. Maureen also has 8 siblings who have paid into SS, two have and will withdraw nothing from it (they died before they could) and several others of us will have paid in for longer than we withdraw, just based on probable life expectancies. At least 4 of the 8 have paid the maximum rate for a number of years. (That group doesn’t include me and never has.)

Am I justifying the cost of supporting Maureen by the amounts our family has paid out? Do I need to do that? I don’t think so but it’s always a part of my thinking. She’s an expensive citizen.

This piece is actually partly in response to Alan Milner’s recent facebook post but I don’t want to put all this out there on facebook where the whole family will see it, I am not sure why. It might be a good thing for the trumpers in the family to have poked in their eyes. And it fit into my recent Maureen theme here.

Alan said, among other things: “Absolutely no one LIKES to pay taxes. No one wants to pay taxes. ..

“Whenever someone says that they don’t mind paying taxes, I conclude that they are in a higher tax bracket than I am…”

First of all, I can guarantee you that I am not in a higher tax bracket than Alan.

Secondly, at least in part because of everything listed above, I honestly don’t mind paying taxes. I may not pay a lot of income tax but I pay other taxes in reasonable amounts.

And please don’t think it’s worth a handicap to get that level of support. I’d way rather be paying twice as much for medical insurance than have to deal with the godawful handicap Maureen does.

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