Republicans are taking it on the chin for trying to dismantle Medicare. Wait til
the public realizes that Medicaid, which they are also trying to tear apart, is what makes it possible for Grandma to stay in a nursing home. Roughly 70% of nursing home residents are on Medicaid. I'm betting that many of you have a parent, grandparent, uncle or aunt who is in a nursing home and the cost is being paid by Medicaid.
Medicaid serves low-income children, pregnant women, the elderly, blind and disabled—an enormous but politically disenfranchised segment of the population. Currently, some 60 million Americans receive health care through the program, including one in three children, four in ten pregnant women, and 70 percent of nursing home residents.
Average Cost of a Nursing Home Room Tops $83,000 a Year
Nursing home and assisted living rates rose significantly from 2009 to 2010, according to the 2010 MetLife Market Survey of Long-Term Care Costs. Private room nursing home rates rose 4.6 percent to $83,585 a year or $229 a day, while assisted living facility costs climbed 5.2 percent on average to $39,516 a year or $3,293 a month.
$148,579 is what the AVERAGE 65 year old (and older) 401K account is...but some very high earners tilt that number to the high side. The median is more accurate in that 50% have more and 50% have less. The median number is $60,800. This is the point at which you gasp and start caculating Grandma's assets. Does she own a home? Hope so! Because she can't last even a full year in a nursing home on that $60,800. Typically, Grandma could move in to the nursing home, spend down her savings, and when most of it was used up, in comes Medicaid to save the day.
Should the Republicans be successful at wiping out Medicaid, I'm changing my refrigerator magnet that humorously states, "Be nice to your kids as they'll be choosing your nursing home" to "Ha, Ha, I got the last laugh....you kids are my nursing home."