22 November 2010

An interesting perspective

Here at my company, our insurance program has a 2 million dollar lifetime maximum. I don't know if this is standard or not. I have heard of other companies have maximum benefits though.

Here is a dilemma, we have an employee that is in his/her late fifties. This person has had two boughts with cancer and a mild stroke that revealed some aneurysms. This person also has the cancer returning.

Since undergoing all this medical procedures, this person has reached the $2,000,000 point. What to do now?

I know that the new obamacare has eliminated the lifetime maximum, but what if it hadn't eliminated it?

Or better yet, what if this person didn't have private insurance and they were on medicare?

When is it enough? If you have spent $2M on medical and still fighting the same thing, should you continue to fight it?

If the person is on medicare and our tax dollars are paying for it, when is it enough?

I guess my point is that we really need to evaluate end of life planning. Should medicare pay for a 70 year old to have a heart transplant?

The three biggest items in the federal budget are medicare, medicaid, and ssi. To lower our federal budget, we will have to make cuts to the big three. Are we, as a society, going to tell grandpa and grandma that you are too old for that procedure? Should we spend $2M to keep an elderly person alive with little to no quality of life?

The question really becomes who determines the quality of life. The family probably would want to keep grandpa alive but me, the taxpayer, says let nature take its course. Can we allow government officials to make this call? Does grandpa really want to be kept alive to sit in a wheelchair not knowing who he is or who his family is?

I think these are the decisions that will have to be made in the future. It will be hard but they must be made.

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