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Old 09-14-2012, 03:44 PM
Fuzzy Dunlop Fuzzy Dunlop is offline
Join Date: Apr 2007
Posts: 3,457
Originally Posted by md2000 View Post
Yes, this is the difference with Universal Health Care - nobody gets forced out on the street or dropped off on skid row if they have nowhere to go. The real costs get hidden in hospital operating costs, while the allocation of funds to create long-care spaces proceeds at its usual glacial pace. Governments are no different anywhere - penny wise pound foolish.
We have universal health care in the United States for people 65 years and older. If they spend 3 or more days in-patient at a hospital they're entitled to 100 days at a skilled nursing facility (i.e. a nursing home). In my experience, once the patient's physician determines they're ready to be discharged and has determined that they need rehabilitation at a skilled nursing facility, their caseworker will find one to take them very fast and then Medicare will pay for the stay at the nursing home.

What we don't have is government provided 'insurance' payments for long-term care under Medicare. Medicare will pay for rehab up to 100 days at a nursing home but if you need to stay permanently, well Medicare was not designed to support people's daily cost of living long term.

People unable to afford the extreme cost of long term nursing care (often $10,000 / month) can apply to Medicaid once their financial resources are exhausted. Medicaid will pay to keep them in a safe but inexpensive nursing home indefinitely - the nicer facilities avoid Medicaid patients because they can't get nearly as much money.