by Mary Sanchez
They say that
That dictum extends to
If you are an ordinary American worker, you might be unlucky enough to learn a new buzzword of the health care industry: memory care. It refers to the health care assistance some older people need to do basic things like take the correct pills on the right day, get bathed and dressed safely, and remember whether they already ate lunch.
This care is incredibly expensive -- several thousand dollars a month in a live-in facility. If your mother or father needed memory care, how would you pay? With costly private long-term care insurance? Savings? Would you or your spouse cut back work hours or leave the workforce to provide the care? Or should
It's not surprising that talk of "entitlement reform" and "grand bargains" and "hard choices" coming out Washington make voters nervous.
We're supposedly hurtling toward a "fiscal cliff" in January, when drastic federal budget sequesters will kick in unless the president and
What should be cut? Both Obama and members of
This may sound good to some, but it will amount to robbing Peter to pay Paul. A
If put in place by 2014, Kaiser estimated
Besides, how many 66-year-olds are employed with the full benefits of healthcare? Or can rely on pension plans with healthcare coverage intact?
This is top-down thinking. Anybody in Washington who contemplates this clearly fails to see how such budgeting plays out in real homes across America.
Republican Gov. John R. Kasich of Ohio framed it well recently in speaking with reporters during the
"I'm just saying that if you're going to affect us, you'd better realize there's a bottom line that affects flesh and blood and real people," Kasich said.
Polls show that Americans, across party lines, overwhelmingly reject drastic cuts to either
According to a February 2012 report from the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, more than 90 percent of entitlement and mandatory program dollars go those who are elderly, seriously disabled or members of working households.
Without these social insurance programs, which all working Americans contribute to with payroll taxes, how many famillies would be able to cope with the challenges of illness and old age? In an age when both spouses in most families must work, where is there time and where are there surplus resources to assume these responsibilities on their own?
Most Americans want affordable, dignified care to be there for their elders -- not to mention for themselves when the time comes. Not a handout or a "gift," as Mitt Romney might put it, but rather a system that taxes all and cares for all.
The costs of
Fiscal Cliff 'Grand Bargain' May Be Anything But | Politics
© Tribune Media Services, Inc