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Wednesday, July 22, 2015

Fifty years ago, July,1965

Fifty years ago this month, 

President Lyndon Johnson signed three life-changing pieces of legislation 

dramatically improving the outlook for older Americans:

and the Older Americans Act.

Medicare went into effect on July 1, 1966.
I was working that day as a new RN in a Montana hospital.
Dr. Petersen's 77 year old patient, a frail, thin woman, was undiagnosed and suffering, 
Dr. Petersen sadly said to Dr. Gregory, "I wish she had the money for me to run some tests on her."
Dr. Gregory looked at him.
"Well, he said, "you can now order that."

You can now order that.

The rest is history.


As we look at the horrendous cost of "you can now order that", let us look at the major benefits to the young people of a population whose aged people have health care financed by taxes.
Look at the rapid advancement in medical technology 
when somebody will pay for "you can now order that". 
Advancements are applied to medical care for the young as well as the old.

 Medicare is the financial foundation on which many medical advancements  have sprung,
  because Medicare is guarenteed payment
unlike philanthropy.  

Hospitals within medical research universities receive extra money from Medicare.  

Did you know many older people do not "qualify" for Medicare coverage?
That is because Medicare is an insurance program, a government insurance program, and not a charity nor a "medical care benefit to all the old people".  
Got Social Security?  
You qualify for Medicare insurance.

For those of us who are privileged, may some of us never forget the disenfranchized.

Thank you for tolerating my "nursey" perspective.
Thank you for visiting my blog.
Forgive me if I offend.  (I am old, you know!)
Riverwatch, RN