I've Landed!

Monday, July 24, 2017

52 years ago

Fifty two 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, some aged people, have health care financed by "taxes".  Taxes?  Only because the government spent our "tax contributions" as quickly as we had our money taken from us back when we were working.
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 disenfranchised.

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