January 28, 2006

Today's Healthcare Horror Story

This week, I was talking to a colleague at work who has been experiencing some problems with Medicare in covering the bills his elderly father accrued before he died.

When his father was fighting cancer, the family got a letter from Medicare that the treatment that cost more than $600,00 would be covered for up to $300,000 by Medicare. Sadly, despite the treatments, his dad died. But then things got really weird. My colleague and his brother were informed that they were responsible for the medical bill and then out of the blue, Medicare sent them a letter that they would not be covering the amount promised.

Evidently, today, under the Bush administration, Medicare can retroactively decide not to cover certain treatments. My colleague and his brother sued Medicare, but lost the first round with the government. However, on appeal they won the second round where the judge informed the government that they are contractually obligated to cover the $300,000 they originally said they would cover. Meanwhile, whether they really do cover the expenses is still an open question, because Bush's government isn't inclined to pay out when it would benefit an ordinary American.

My colleague wonders if the thirty some years he worked to save for his own retirement might have been a very bad gamble. He thinks he'd be better off having nothing saved as the medical expenses his father accrued are now draining his savings as the intransigence of the government to pay has added voluminous interest payments and he and his brother are still responsible for his dad's treatment. After decades of working and saving for his retirement, he wonders if he will find himself deeply in debt because of his dad's illnesses.

Remember how Reagan said that you can't trust government? It seems that the Bush administration is trying to make sure you learn that government is not on your side.

Posted by Mary at January 28, 2006 04:20 PM | Health/Medicine/Health Care | Technorati links |

Always remember that playing by the rules in Bush's America is a sucker's game. You get rich by cheating the system, you play it safe by shifting risk onto somebody else. Everybody knows the dice are loaded, everybody rolls with their fingers crossed.

Posted by: NBarnes at January 29, 2006 07:06 PM