My grandmother is 91 years old. Like a lot of 91 year olds, and I realize there aren’t a lot them, she’s more prone to physical affliction than most sub-91 years olds. She has good days and bad days. Her good days aren’t as good and her bad days are worse than those of the majority of younger folks. It’s the price she pays for having endured for so long.
Back in May she was doing pretty good. Unfortunately she was working out in her yard more than she should have been, and broke a vertebrate in her back. She doesn’t know exactly how she did it. I don’t think it’s particularly difficult for anybody to hurt their back anytime. When you’re ancient, it’s all the easier.
Anyway, after a few weeks she had an operation. She says that the surgeon injected some sort of “cement” into the broken vertebrate. The results were amazing. She was much better in a matter of days and had recovered all but her strength within a month. There’s a lot to be said for modern medicine, and some of it is good.
The tab on the operation ran to about $5,000 dollars. I’m not exactly sure of the breakdown. She was in the hospital for several days, so I’m sure the total bill was many times that. At any rate, the actual procedure, performed by the specialist/surgeon, was about five grand. A bargain, at any price, as anyone whose ever been in any sort of severe pain will surely attest.
Medicare, I thought, would pick up the bill for the operation with no questions asked. Unfortunately that’s not been the case, at least not so far. In fact, Medicare is refusing to pay for it! They’ve paid for other medical procedures she’s had over the years. Why would they balk, even for an instant, at paying for an operation that almost certainly saved her life?
The matter hasn’t been resolved yet. Maybe refusing to pay initially is a ploy by the government to cheat people out of what’s coming to them. The U. S. government is pretty lowdown. I’m having trouble believing it’s low enough to actually not cover what is bound to be a standard surgical procedure on a 91 year old citizen. We’ll know soon enough.