Medicare in the US


Mar 11, 2008
I posted this on facebook and got an opinionated response from someone I barely know (and don't want to run off just yet). I'd also like to hear your full opinion, Cranium...

"America’s hospitals treat patients with life-ending cancers very differently in their final months, with some deploying chemotherapy and other life-prolonging efforts until the end and others directing most of their patients into hospice, a new study finds..."

My friend's response.. which I feel represents a large number of American's feelings on this:

Josie's friend said:
As a 9 yr cancer survivor (knock on wood) I say to hell with Medicare's budget--this is MY life, I worked over 30 yrs paying into Medicare that I now use. And my attitude toward my cancer and my treatment had a great deal to do with how my life is to end, as well as what my Lord and Blessed Redeemer has to say about it! Quit giving so much money to other countries and take care of our own problems, including Medicare. That's my 2-bits worth.

In short, my opinion is that when a really old person (like 96) is diagnosed with cancer, it should immediately be filed in the "died of old age category". Doctors running around like mad because they haven't got much time left to work with is (in my opinion) just a last ditch effort to soak up as much cash as they can outta Granny Grape.

Oh boy.. I really want to go off on a diatribe about cancer itself.. but that gets long and messy. Maybe later if this thread draws some feedback.

Unhappy Camper

Hells yeah
Mar 10, 2008
Fayettenam Area, NC
First we must all agree that we who are young, some far younger than others, will view the subject of Medicare and Elder care in general through a prism tinted by that youth. When we get to "that age" will we feel the same? Who knows.

Lets start with some numbers:

Medicare is funded by the Social Security Administration. Which means it's funded by PEOPLE THAT HAVE JOBS:

We all pay 1.45% of our earnings into FICA which go toward Medicare. Employers pay another 1.45%. < ---- That's right Grand ma ... YOU did NOT fund your SSA benefits alone.

Also a person need NOT work their entire life, day after day, to qualify for benefits, one must work ( on average ) 10 years to gain the required 40 credits. That works out to about $44,800 paid into a system that could theoretically be used for and drawn upon for OVER 40 years of life. ( that's about $500,000 not accounting for inflation)

Its well known through the medical profession that Elder care is some of the most expensive care available.

Anyway ...

Old folks have pissed me off lately with their incessant whining about SS and medicare.

Sarah Palin and the other fucking idiots got on this DEATH PANEL soap box with out really understanding what the hell it is. A DOCTOR should discuss with the people in their last years of life that it might NOT be a good thing to lay in a hospital bed for those 2 - 5 years. And maybe that the dying person should go home and die .. and that maybe, just maybe good old 95 Year old Gramma will get little benifit from three hours of lung machine/voodoo whatsis every day at the tune of $5000 a pop. Why add to the burden by getting $200,000 worth of med bills that ONLY lead to you Dieing in the damn hospital.

If a person wanted that type of care they should have taken out PRIVATE insurance years earlier to pay for the waning days of life. The SS system is not gonna survive for a population that is now living past 80 on AVERAGE, and 90 is soon to come.

Longer life = longer voting potential = SS hijacked by politicians to use to scare folks one way or the other.

Bottom line:

The age for SS SHOULD be raised to 68 for full benefits.

Hospitals should NO LONGER be places where folks are taken to be warehoused only to die in a recumbent position simply because they died of OLD AGE. I agree with Josie, a dude that is 95 and up generally only dies due to complications of a thing and his AGE not necessarily the THING itself.

Hospice should be a Federal funded alternative.

Being surrounded by strangers and clinical settings is horrid to think of and I'd rather walk into the woods and lean against a tree and die.


I've stated it before: Once I get to an age where I feel I've outlived my usefulness, I'm gonna take matters into my own hand. I'm not sure what age that is, but I refuse to be put in a situation where I am being waited on and have to have my diapers changed again or need a wheelchair to ramble around in. No, sir, not for me. I'm gonna do everything I can with my life and when I get to the point where I can do no more but be a drain on those around me, I sign off into that long night.

Suicidal? No, realistic. As Cranium said
Being surrounded by strangers and clinical settings is horrid to think of and I'd rather walk into the woods and lean against a tree and die.
I've fought too hard for what I have in my life to hand my daily activities over to some nurse. As an extension of that, I agree wholeheartedly that it's a waste of time, energy, and money treating a cancer patient that's pushing triple digits. Sorry if that's cold-hearted (no, actually, I'm not...) but we are ALL going to die someday. Make things as comfortable as possible when you are near the end, or do like I plan and avoid the pain and trouble. But getting cancer treatment...or any long term treatment for that a waste.

They may cure you, but so what? You get another 5 or 6 years forgetting your grandchildrens names and not understanding how the world works anymore. No thank you. Color me out. A bullet costs a lot less. For that matter, so does a bottle of the right kind of pills. Hell...maybe I'll go out in style and make one last jump out of a plane and forget to pull the cord..... What a view on the way. I think I just figured out my preferred method!