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Sunday, February 12, 2012

The biggest heist - Family Matters


Mrs Warrior (I'm @Ancient_Warrior on twitter) and myself are no strangers to Alzheimer.. We both have a grand mother who suffered from this devastating disease. Mrs Warrior was involved with her grand mother throughout on a daily basis as her primary care giver until she inevitably ended up in a nursing home requiring round the clock care. We have had quite a bit of involvement with elderly loved ones as they succumb slowly to age itself in one way or another. It seems as we age poor health and eventually death become ever more prominent in our lives.

We have a situation right now in fact which involves an elderly mother and (long time) step father. She has been developing Alzheimer disease for the last couple of years or so and is diagnosed as "moderately" to "severely" affected at this particular point in her life.

Her husband, a great guy, has suffered with heath problems for many years now. Mainly heart.

These people have lived the American dream. They enjoyed trading the stock market bubble of the 1990s and accumulated quite a bit of wealth during those go-go dotCom market days. Even though, in the end, they gave back some 50% or more of the wealth they had gained during the market crash they still came out of it all in pretty good shape.

Through that, and other avenues, they had accumulated enough wealth to retire early. He in his early 50s and she is somewhat younger than him.

For decades they have spent half the year in various Midwestern locales, in Kansas, Oklahoma and Arkansas while spending the harsh winter months in their modest, yet beloved, second home in a nice little retirement community in Florida. Close to beach and filled with friendships accumulated through decades of companionship.

It truly can be a "wonderful life".

No one wanted them to go to Florida this year.. With the serious health issues facing both. But it seems the trip was viewed as something of a last hurrah and it did take place.

Then he ended up suffering a "mild" heart attack, in the hospital and eventually in rehab.

The problem was / is that his wife is no longer capable of caring for herself and due to the ravages of the disease has become quite "unstable".

This situation has been very difficult for the family to deal with seperated by whatever thousand plus miles of distance and hampered by such trivial things as dedication to jobs.

However.. this post isn't really about Alzheimer or heart disease.. Nor the difficulties many families endure in dealing with these issues.

This post is more about how it doesn't really matter at all how one lives their life in this country, in this culture. Whether one is prudent financially or just fell off the turnip wagon in Kentucky (sorry Kentucky, no offense ;)

This post is to point out my own observation that the entire medical system in this country seems to be DESIGNED to steal everyone's wealth on their way out the door.

My own mother, God bless her soul, never was any good with money (fiat, if you prefer). When / if she "got some" it never lasted very long at all.

And as I said earlier my wife's parents played by all the rules and did everything they were expected to do as far as being thoughtful about their future and accumulating enough wealth to be comfortable in their old age (now 82 & 70).

So how is the end of their lives different?

My mother suffered horribly, though she never complained much, with prolapse for a time toward the end of her life. My sister cared for her in her home and we visited frequently. She also had circulatory problems and a disease called Wegener's. Close to the end she lost a leg to amputation and in her physical condition there was never really any hope for her possibly overcoming that.

She ended up in a nursing home where she could receive the round the clock care that she needed.

She had not accumulated any wealth over the course of her life. What little she did have, her home and a few dollars in the bank, were quickly depleted as she was required to be self pay in the nursing home until what little she materially owned was converted to fiat and turned over to the state.

This didn't take very long at all at a rate of some 4,500.00 to 5,000.00 per month charge for the nursing home care.

After that Medicare / Medicaid (taxpayers) picked up the tab.

My wife's parents,a s I said, played by the rules and accumulated wealth.

Upon my father-in-law's release from the rehab center they will be moving into a Florida assisted living facility that sounds much more like a resort..

I mean this place is bonkers nice.. Daily trips to the beach to watch the sunset included.

How much?

1,300.00 a month, each. After a one time 13,000.00 "fee" with a 10 month "contract".

My mother was in a more of a state facility, sure it presented a nice face to the public and offered plenty of activities for those who were interested, but was nothing fancy (and she wasn't interested).

So why did this state facility average 5,000.00 a month while this nothing short of a resort in Florida is 1,300.00 a month?

I have no idea..

But other than the Alzheimer my mother-in-law, of some 35 years now, is in very good health, physically speaking.

She is likely to linger, as did my own grandmother, for 10 years or more. No longer recognizing family or friends. At ever escalating costs for her care.

My only point here is it does not seem to matter if you do things the way we are taught to do them, responsibly, or if you blow off later life planning entirely.

In the end, if you suffer poor health, the healthcare industry will "take care" of you while they drain every bit of wealth that you have.. Be that 10 grand or or 10 million.

Every single individual in this country, it seems, has plenty of access to healthcare.. The government of the United States acts as if that is not the case, but that IS the case. No one at all suffers from lack of healthcare in the United States. It is available to anyone and everyone, even people who may be here illegally, so to speak.

Does it cost a lot? Hell yes!

So apparently the government's solution to the problem is to mandate that every single citizen in the country shower, not healthcare, but insurance companies, with loads of fiat on a monthly basis.

If you ask me there is a huge difference between having access to (affordable) "healthcare" vs having access to "health insurance".

I don't personally know of any "insurance sales people or administrators" who perform surgery.

We should not confuse the two.

I found this on the net and thought it was pretty well written (something I SO wish I could do myself lol)


"I’ve recently been to a nursing home, visiting a relative. Almost all the patients there have the bulk of their bills paid by a combination of Medicaid and Medicare, though it’s safe to say that a good number of them have no idea who pays their bills, or where exactly they are, for that matter. The common route into a decent nursing home involves the patient showing evidence of some sizable life savings that is still intact and hasn’t been lost in any medical bankruptcy or junk bond investment scheme. As a price of admittance, this sum would be doled out to the nursing home until it runs out, which is usually within a year, at which time the formerly middle-class senior, now pauperized, has Medicaid take over the bulk of their nursing home bills. This is the real “death tax,” a 100 percent inheritance tax on the middle class, brought on by a mean, stingy, and terribly inadequate social safety net.

Here's the whole piece if you wish to read it..


Nothing else to say about any of this because it seems I can't ever say anything without writing an entire book, which, in the end I never know whether it will make any sense or not ;)

Maybe just.. watch your back and don't let the door hit you in the ass on your way out..


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