Medicaid Is About Grandma

Why don’t Democrats more often make the point Sen. Chuck Schumer made this week about the consequences of GOP efforts to scuttle Medicaid:

Medicaid is for poor people, but also 60 percent goes to people in nursing homes. And that affects not only them, but their kids. You’re a kid 45 or 50, your Mom or Dad is in a nursing home. They could be kicked out after this bill passes. What would you do? You have to take them at home, stop working to take care of them. Or you have to shell out thousands of dollars out of your pocket. — Schumer press conference (3/13)

Bill Clinton routinely made this point when Medicaid was debated during his presidency. Inexplicably he is among a surprisingly few Democrats who stress the program’s service to elder Americans in dire need of long term care. But the GOP continues to get away with feeding the illusion that it mostly serves malingerers who’d rather take a federal handout than get a job.

Baby boomers everywhere are facing the painful needs of parents who need nursing home care. Many are finding that Medicaid is their only choice. That’s the political pitch that can save Medicaid.

[Cross-posted via The Huffington Post]


45 thoughts on “Medicaid Is About Grandma”

  1. So here’s the deal. The demographic that really understands what Medicaid means to the elderly are the kids of nursing home residents who have already exhausted their assets and don’t have any source of support other than Medicaid or their kids. I don’t know the numbers but I’d bet the number of people with insurance that covers NH care is exceedingly small. (Been there on both counts). So you’re talking about people who are say 50ish and older.  That is good news for dems unless the pugns figure out how to appeal to an older more diverse populace AND the dems fail to make elder care an issue in upcoming elections. The population is aging and getting more diverse, so there will be more grammas and kids forced to support them – and the percentage of voters among that group who traditionally voted dem is growing. I like what I see in those tea leaves.

  2. The question of whether those in the Congress hear their voters is a “it depends”.  A few are like Rep. Ed Perlmutter (D-CO) who actually hold frequent meetings with the people they represent, voters or not.  They know how things are going in their districts.  Others, only know when a poll is complete as they do not like to meet their voters.  During these very interesting times I will hazard a guess that many are starting to check on how their voters are thinking; and if they have not they had better start checking things out.  The 2018 campaign started November 8, 2016.

  3. hey pogo, just an aside re your comment: we need a gentler kinder rephrase of your “more grammas and kids forced to support them.”  forced  sounds like they hate the old bitty and don’t want to make room for her in their home.  some states have been able to arrange home care for the elderly allowing payment to caregivers who are relatives to cover both work, respite, special equipment and transportation to adult day care.  sadly even those few programs will be on the chopping block.    guess the days of the happy multi-generational family (thinking here of grandpa and grandma Walton, maybe throw in an old spinster aunt and bachelor uncle) are gone forever.

  4. The days when a single income could support an extended family are long gone, but multi-generational families are definitely returning in order to make up the difference.  In reviewing the new proposed budget, it seems to come down to thinking the sooner they low income Boomers die off the better.

  5. speaking of grandmas, nice article in the guardian today:

    Hillary Clinton says she’s “ready to come out of the woods” and help Americans find common ground.

    Clinton’s gradual return to the public spotlight following her presidential election loss continued with a St Patrick’s Day speech in her late father’s Pennsylvania hometown.

    “I’m like a lot of my friends right now, I have a hard time watching the news,” Clinton told an Irish women’s group.

    But she urged a divided country to work together to solve problems, recalling how, as first lady, she met with female leaders working to bring peace to Northern Ireland.

    “What can we do to try to bring people together and to try to find that common ground, even higher ground, sister, so that we listen to each other again and we know that we can make a difference? I’m not sure it will come out of Washington yet, but I think it can come out of Scranton. Let’s find ways to do that,” she told the Society of Irish Women.

    “I am ready to come out of the woods and to help shine a light on what is already happening around kitchen tables, at dinners like this, to help draw strength that will enable everybody to keep going,” said Clinton, who was spotted taking a walk in the woods around her hometown of Chappaqua, New York, two days after losing the election to Donald Trump.

    Friday night’s speech is one of several she is to deliver in the coming months, including a 26 May commencement address at her alma mater, Wellesley College in Massachusetts. The Democrat also is working on a book of personal essays that will include some reflections on her loss to Donald Trump.

    Clinton was received warmly in Scranton, where her grandfather worked in a lace mill. Her father left Scranton for Chicago in search of work during the Great Depression, but returned often. Hillary Clinton spent summers at the family’s cottage on nearby Lake Winola.

    She fondly recalled watching movies stretched across a bedsheet in a neighbor’s yard, and told of how the cottage had a toilet but no shower or tub.

    “Don’t tell anybody this, but we’d go down to the lake,” she quipped.

  6. The republicans, at least most of them, are like a school of fish swimming in waters that are protected from predators.  While the Democrats spent their time at rallies and on the national stage, the republicans were busy at the local level taking control of state legislatures – and then handily gerrymandering the hell out of their states and protecting their congressmen – and it worked.

    Most really don’t listen that much to their voters – they don’t need too.  Their districts are loaded with enough crazies to all but guarantee re-election.  Something big is going to have to fall before they’re thrown out.  And then it’s going to be temporary until the Democrats get back into action at the local level.


  7. With the floater continuing to hold on to his latest attack against the black president, he fails to understand that he is now going against people who can have him doing a Nixon.  During the last couple of days I have been fighting (and losing) to a virus of some type.  During my up time a fun thing to do is make up the final days of the administration.  Will there be mopping around, talk to pictures?  Will he take up drinking or smoking?  The senile old man will be shuffling around in his bathrobe (yeah he says he does not own one) and worn slippers yelling at dogs which are not there and groping imaginary Miss Universe teens.  In the Rose Garden he will stagger, yelling at visitors to get off his lawn.

    What is the worst thing that can happen to him?  I posit it is losing the imaginary fight against the black man, Obama.  No matter what happens he will never be popular, Obama is.  No matter what happens his administration has more scandals in fifty days than Obama had in his lifetime.  What will do the old man in is his fat old body being run out of town and kicked out of the White House.  Obama left on a high note.  drumpf will be tossed out like a free loader out of an apartment.  Not completing even the first year of a four year term is worse than declaring bankruptcy.  That is fun thing to think of right now.

  8. This week was spring break.  Did mostly nothing – except to surf this board, do some housework, Dr’s and Dentists appointments, etc.  Not that I’m back on Monday I have to get ready for our last 9 weeks and the end of school.  I have literally over a 1,000 papers to grade and put into our system.  So, I’ve been binge watching West Wing while working – and my attitude / mood is getting better and better and better – now living in the dream world that the U.S. has a competent leader with values for others.

  9. I’ll guess that eventually the proper authorities will have to carry him out of the White House, and deposit him on the sidewalk. Perhaps there he might be reduced by the angry public to small grotesque souvenirs.

  10. Pussy Grabber’s mother…the hair certainly explains a lot

    (speaking of shallow thoughts)

  11. If the word conservative means traditionalist, apprehensive about or resistant to change, or merely careful, then the trump junta is anti-conservative. Therefore, we should be able to see, through the words and deeds of the trump cabal, that the opposite of conservative is not liberal.

    (Love that edit button !)

  12. Yep.  Dad lasted less than two days with my brother.  Constant care; no way could he have been left alone while he was at work.

    There are community cooperatives (think “Golden Girls”) springing up, but at some point, the younger, healthier folks can’t care for those who are worse off.  At some point, long-term care will have to play a role.

    Grandma’s house went to the state to pay for her nursing home care.

    * Let’s hope the rest of the media picks up on Craig’s article.  Trumpco shouts loudly, so the truth must be spoken even more loudly.

    Saturate the media with the truth & do NOT invite the vampires in the WH to the Sunday shows, nor anywhere else unless you are prepared to take down their lies about the budget, healthcare, etc.   Hold their f-ing feet to the fire.

  13. Medicaid makes you sign that your estate is liable for your medical expenses not just nursing home.  If you have medicaid – they won’t take it while you are living but they will come after any assets after you die for the amount you have received.

  14. My mother had inoperable lung cancer, and decided to die at home. When she went into hospice, I moved in with her. Sweetie was joining us two days later when Mom suddenly died.

    Sweetie’s mother had congestive heart failure, and we forced her to move in with us. When she went into hospice, she decided to stay at our house. I considered that an honor.

    We have no children. I presume that I shall predecease Sweetie, and die either here or in the hospital emergency room. I hope that it’s very quick, very cheap, and painless. Or, pain-ending, to be more accurate.

    Sweetie’s brother and sister-in-law live in AL. Her mother has Alzheimer’s and is going to live with them. Sweetie’s brother feels honored. Perhaps, if Sweetie’s time ever comes, and she is not bodily assumed into heaven, she might go to die near him. I dunno. We only discuss my death, since I seem so much closer to the hole.

  15. This seems a good time to climb on my POLST soapbox.  Everyone should have one with copies to the person elected to carry out your wishes and your primary care physician for your records.

    You can locate your State Program on this Map and even in the few states without a program, the printout of the form on the main site can act as your wishes in the hands of a spouse, relative, or person with Power of Attorney.



  16. Spending the day escaping from the news by re-reading GIANT after many decades.  Edna Ferber was a magnificent writer, particularly when creating mental pictures of her characters:

    “His face was benign and mild, his abundant white hair parted very precisely in the middle, he resembled a good old baby until he lifted the hooded eyelids and you saw the twin cold grey phlegms through which his ophidian soul regarded the world.”


  17. 1. Get a wheelchair, 3 fifteen foot chains, 3 locks, 2 pairs of handcuffs, and a mob phone that can stream video.

    2. Go to the office of the nearest repub congressparasite.

    3. Turn on your live stream and cuff your ankles. Chain your ankles and the cuffs to a radiator or heavy piece of furniture. Wrap the chains around you and lock them to each other, the radiator, or heavy piece of furniture. Lock the hand cuffs to two of the chains. Cuff your wrists.

    4. Announce that you are on a hunger strike until Congresssnake XYZ announces publicly that he won’t vote to repeal Obamacare until a replacement covering everyone in the country is passed.

    5. Sit and wait calmly for the Secret Service to arrive.

    6. Collect Academy Award.

  18. the guardian:

    On the heels of a visibly awkward visit from the German chancellor, Angela Merkel, Donald Trump said on Saturday that Germany owed “vast sums of money” to Nato and the US, even though the alliance does not stipulate payments to America.


    Trump, who was at his Mar-a-Lago estate for the weekend and spending the morning at Trump International Golf Course, sent two tweets early in the day. The first denounced “the FAKE NEWS” for what he said was mistaken coverage of a “GREAT” meeting with Merkel.


    On Saturday Ivo Daalder, who was permanent representative to Nato from 2009 to 2013, respond to Trump in a series of tweets.

    “Sorry, Mr President, that’s not how Nato works,” he wrote. “The US decides for itself how much it contributes to defending Nato. This is not a financial transaction, where Nato countries pay the US to defend them. It is part of our treaty commitment.

    “All Nato countries, including Germany, have committed to spend 2% of GDP on defense by 2024. So far five of 28 Nato countries do. Those who currently don’t spend 2% of their GDP on defense are now increasing their defense budgets. That’s a good thing.

    “But no funds will be paid to the US. They are meant to increase Nato’s overall defense capabilities, given the growing Russian threat. Europe must spend more on defense, but not as favor (or payment) to the US. But because their security requires it.”

    Daalder added that the “large military commitment” of the US to Nato was “not a favor to Europe” but was “vital for our own security”.

    “We fought two world wars in Europe, and one cold war,” he wrote. “Keeping Europe whole, free, and at peace, is vital US interest.”


    1. The sick or elderly person can call the FBI and alert them about small amounts of marijuana in their residence. The FBI will come, investigate, and arrest the sick person for possession. The arrestee must then demand to be taken to the holding cells – this is the dangerous part.

    2. At arraignment the arrestee must plead guilty and demand maximum prison time.

    3. Upon arrival at prison the convict must convince the intake officer that (s)he is very sick and must be taken to a hospital. At the prison clinic the doctor will examine the convict and transfer him/her to an appropriate hospital prison.

    4. Relax and enjoy.

  20. Thanks for the POLST rant, Jamie ! I’m sorry to say that we are still in the larval state here. Behind the Iowegians !?!

  21. Grandma was of sound mind; someone from some agency or another brought her paperwork to sign her house over to the state as soon as her money & ability to pay for her care were gone.    It wasn’t auctioned off until she died, but signing that document killed her spirit; it made her HOMELESS. She went downhill quickly after that and was gone within a couple of months.

    For those of us without children, there is very expensive long-term care insurance.   Most of my family check out in their late 50s; 60 is pushing it.  Beyond that is an anomaly, so if I make it to that point I’ll  fork over bucks for the insurance if we haven’t devolved into Thunder-dome.

    * The media should also be shouting about how much it costs for Trump to fly to Florida & to run a separate household for the Mrs.

    How much is that costing taxpayers?

    What could be done with that money which would DIRECTLY benefit citizens of the US?   (Unlike a huge military buildup that will benefit a few corporations.)


  22. bid,  this one’s for you

    How much is Donald Trump’s travel and protection costing, anyway?

    What really jumped out at some people, though, was that Trump was proposing cuts to some relatively low-cost programs shortly before he prepared to fly to his Mar-a-Lago resort in Florida. According to an analysis from Politico, that’s a trip that costs about $3 million each time — and it’s a trip that he’s made four times this year.

    If that $3 million estimate is true, he could have funded the U.S. Interagency Council on Homelessness — budgeted at $4 million in 2016 — for nearly four years if he’d just stayed in the White House.

  23. now if they’d only go out and vote

    ap at msn:

    That Trump is undeniably the nation’s 45th president doesn’t sit easily with young Americans like Anderson who are the nation’s increasingly diverse electorate of the future, according to a new poll. A majority of young adults — 57 percent — see Trump’s presidency as illegitimate, including about three-quarters of blacks and large majorities of Latinos and Asians, the GenForward poll found.

    GenForward is a poll of adults age 18 to 30 conducted by the Black Youth Project at the University of Chicago with the Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research.

    A slim majority of young whites in the poll, 53 percent, consider Trump a legitimate president, but even among that group 55 percent disapprove of the job he’s doing, according to the survey.


    Overall, just 22 percent of young adults approve of the job he is doing as president, while 62 percent disapprove.

  24. After seeig Trump interact with women of power, like Clinton and Merkl, it’s obvious he hates women and has yuuge mommy issues.  That’s gotta be in the DSM, somewhere.


    …and there are certainly people who commit a crime with the sole intent of receiving health-care in jail/prison; that’s not unheard-of.

  25. I hope everyone realizes by now that Pussy Grabber has no shame and doesn’t care what you think

    the only thing that will make a difference is to tie every Republican to Trump and for them to start losing at the polls

  26. The only thing Twump cares about is not losing…..

    It will be nice to see hubris get ahold of his ass……might be awhile, but as Hemingway said in Moveable Feast, the check always comes.

    Check, please……..

  27. I remember a cut in Hail!Hail! Rock n Roll where Keef was trying to show Chuck how he plays one of Chuck’s songs. Keef was insistent that he was playing it the way it should be played. Chuck disagreed. Somehow I found that amusing.

    There weren’t really any of his songs I didn’t like, but Johnny B Good and Roll Over Beethoven were my two favorites. I thought the Beatles cover of ROB was the best version I ever heard other than Chuck’s.

  28. It may be fair to say that Berry was the first black person a lot of white people let into their homes.

  29. My mom saw Chuck in Vegas sometime in the early 1960s. I don’t recall the actual date or year or the casino. But she says that she and her friends were walking from one area of slots to another, passing by one of the open lounges that they used to have in those days. She heard the unmistakable sound of Chuck’s riffs and went to investigate.

    Three hours later, Chuck was still playing. She said it was the most amazing thing she had ever heard live.

  30. Bink ….. Not, perhaps, willingly… my case, a story:

    my dad was on the honorary board of this monster big box department store late fifties/early sixties, called Government employees exchange, or GEX….. A new thing at the time which ultimately disappeared…..but what it meant was once a month I went along while he attended a meeting… for an hour or two I was free to roam the premises…..these times would find me in the book department, or the music and records dept…..once while I was noodling on a not-plugged-in electric guitar, the salesman noticed and plugged the thing in and said try it now….so, I did, playing anything I could even get close to for 20 or 30 minutes. So when it was over, the sales guy says for me to pick out any LP album I wanted……I mean, wasn’t that long ago I had scraped and saved for WEEKS for enough to pay $3.98 for Hank’s greatest hits…, ok….I picks out another Hank album, “Let Me Sing a Blue Song”.    Seems people came to the record dept when they heard all the racket. I’m pretty amazed at the time, and frankly, so were the parents.

    Time passes…… Once a month I’m getting a new LP every trip.  I got all the Hank they had and then started branching out…..Duane Eddy….Lenny Dee…..Jo Anne Castle…..then one trip I came home with Chuck Berry’s Greatest Hits…..the new pride of the fleet.

    My poor old mom snarls at me flat out: “You KNOW all that money goes straight to the NAACP!

    I foolishly pointed out that I got it for free.

    Next time we went to the GEX store, I head on over to the gig and my man, the salesman, says oh we had to quit doing that because they’d been getting complaints from all over the rest of the store, and I knew right then the fix was in.

    But our little record player played the ever lovin’ dogshit out of my brother Chuck. Got to meet him too….

  31. I got Chuck’s auty-graph……early sixties…..he was doing a show at Folly Pier in Charleston…….a large square venue which jutted out into the ocean there……open air with a roof and a huge stage……lots of big acts… July, August, it’s hot in there…….When Chuck breaks, between shows I go out on the walkway and am standing there when all by himself Chuck comes walking out onto the walkway and starts walking down the boardwalk,,,,,,,.I figure, wtf and i start following him not so far back..The beach is pretty much dark now except for the pier, and Chuck looks back, sees me and says, “Is there bathroom near here?”  I tell him yes, there’s one right up there in that darkened pavilion…….We walk up there and Chuck goes into the room and when he comes out he explains, “I HATE taking a dump up there with all those people around.”  Yeah, I could imagine that, and then we walked beck towards the pier…..don’t even know if we talked or not but I got to walk a few hundred feet next to Chuck’s moccasins ……we went inside and he gave a jaunty wave as he headed for the stage and I headed towards another beer.

    on the whole, a far nicer experience than having Nellie Fox tell you to fuck off……

  32. My grandpa got to play a little ball w/Nellie Fox on a promo tour. Gramps thought the world of that kid . . . if only he’d known that NF only talked with people when paid to . . . .

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