Any way you look at it, this is a sad statement on our society. I sometimes wonder how I will survive ten or twenty years from now when I am retired and I have substantial social security benefits coming thanks to high salaries in recent decades, a substantial 401k savings built up and a few mutual fund investments to rely on. All that and I still worry.
These people in Appalachia are drawing the bare minimum social security benefits and if it hadn’t been for recent efforts by the Bush administration and Republicans they wouldn’t have the benefit of any kind of medicine program. Most of them are illiterate and have no knowledge of programs sponsored by Lilly, Pfizer and other drug companies. They’re getting by the best way they know how. Imprison them? Hell no! Imprison the asshats who dreamed up this whole social security lottery program that has left so many elderly people with nothing to look forward to ....
Seniors Charged With Selling Prescriptions
December 12, 2005, 1:54 PM EST
PRESTONSBURG, Ky. (AP)
Dottie Neeley, 87, was fingerprinted, photographed and thrown in jail, imprisoned as much by the tubing from her oxygen tank as by the concrete and steel around her. The woman—who spent two days in jail after her arrest last December—is among a growing number of Kentucky senior citizens charged in a crackdown on a crime authorities say is rampant in Appalachia: Elderly people are reselling their painkillers and other medications to addicts.
“When a person is on Social Security, drawing $500 a month, and they can sell their pain pills for $10 apiece, they’ll take half of them for themselves and sell the other half to pay their electric bills or buy groceries,” Floyd County jailer Roger Webb said. Since April 2004, Operation UNITE, a Kentucky anti-drug task force created largely in response to rampant abuse of the powerful and sometimes lethal painkiller OxyContin, has charged more than 40 people 60 or older with selling primarily prescription drugs in the mountains.
“It used to be a rare occasion to have an elderly inmate,” Webb said. “Five years ago it was a rarity.” Local jails are having to bear the increased cost of caring for old and often sickly inmates. “You’ve got to give them more attention,” Webb said. “It’s putting a strain on my deputies. We’re understaffed anyway. You’ve got to get them doctors, and meet their medical needs.”
Researchers suspect the problem is not limited to Appalachia. Elderly people “may be looking for a way to bring in a little extra money,” said Erin Artigiani, deputy director of the University of Maryland Center for Substance Abuse Research. “We haven’t heard a lot about senior citizens being a source of those drugs. We know college students do this. It’s not much a stretch to think that seniors could do it, too.”
Dr. Anita Cornett, a physician in Hyden, said one of her patients, a reformed drug addict, told her that he bought all his drugs not from a known dealer, but from elderly people.
- More on this story here ...
Medicare is an old Blue Cross plan stuck in time - 1965. Generally, outpatient Rx (drugs) were not covered by Medicare before President Bush. The private Medigap plans wouldn’t pay over $4,000 annually on Rx before Bush. It was illegal in the US, exactly like Cuba, to sell Rx coverage that would pay over $4,000 annually. What the hell is the deal with that in “the land of the free.”? So Bush promised RX and then delivered.
Big winners are the poor elderly. Taxpayers pay for the Rx deductible plus the cost of the Rx insurance. So the old broke people selling their drugs will get worse because they will be easier to get. Drugs can cost a lot. A $2,000 a month Rx habit, or $24,000 per year, is common place with the elderly.
Big Winners are the near poor too. Drug companies don’t give those with income and assets free drugs. Before Bush, these elderly just paid for RX out of their pocket. If a couple is spending $20,000 per year on Rx, their savings is depleted rapidly. Montel Williams spends $18,000 a year just on MS Rx. Now all seniors, including Warren Buffett, can purchase Rx coverage (Average US cost $32/month), that by Federal Law, they can’t owe more than $3,600 plus 5% thereafter on Rx, annually, each. Young taxpayers are paying a lions share of the increased expenses.
Big Winners are the Baby Boomers. If old couples are spending $20,000 per year on Rx now, how much will Rx cost in 20 years when a current 55 year old is 75? Would a couple spend $100,000 per year just on Rx in 2025? Now they can’t, thanks to President Bush. The maximum a couple can owe is $7,200 plus 5% annually with Rx coverage. Don’t forget you will also need to purchase Medigap insurance (pays the 20% Medicare doesn’t pay) and couples today can spend $7,200 annually on that. In 20 years the Medigap cost will be much more. Don’t forget your Medicare Part B premium of $2.052 per year, per couple, NOW, and comes out of your Social Security check before you get it. Part B premiums to the government are scary, going up 15% annually. It’s pure math. Part B premiums go up faster than Social Security checks. [So at some point your Part B premiums will be bigger than your Social Security check if you are young enough.]
Projected Annual Medical Costs For A OLD (75) Couple In 2025:
Medigap: $15,000 (I’m being too kind)
Part B: $7,800 -- this is too small --
total: $30,000 per year plus vision and dental PLUS the cost of Rx coverage
The bad thing about spending $30,000 per year in 2025 is how much you will spend in 2035 when you are 85 years old with medical inflation being so high.
It’s time to save in the smartest way.
Some people can take a painting off the wall and sell it if they get cancer and the bill is $400,000. Of course some paintings are worth much more than $400,000 so the owners would get change. These are rich people. Don’t buy into the crap that everyone who is paying taxes is rich. That’s bull shit.
If you think the future health care expenses of one couple are a lot, imagine what your city, county and other governments owe. Everybody’s pencil pushers, GM, Delphi, NWA and on and on are spell bound when they look at the numbers. Too many commas.
Remember this, I don’t want to say it again.
This story adds yet another definition to the term “white trash”. Get ready for the related Redneck Jokes, boys
Jester - I’ll prolly know a few of those redneck jokes, being from Kentucky....*sigh* Why is it the idiots have to show up in MY home state?
(not to mention our basketball team SUCKS this year. We get beat by INDIANA???? *cries*)