Social Security, Affordable Health Care, and assorted other health plans all have lapses in them dealing with certain medical problems. These lapses can cause severe problems for the individuals involved and for their families, if they have one.
In most families today both parents work, their children go to school; their house is empty for a good part of the day. If they are forced to have an elderly parent or parents living with them that person(s) stays at the home all day generally by themselves. This is particularly true if they can no longer drive and are no longer ambulatory.
Many elderly adults will eventually lose some control over their bodies, they may have to revert to diapers. If they can still walk, they can occasionally fall and seriously hurt themselves. This is particularly crucial in a two story house.
If they are left alone and fall this constitutes elder abuse. They need someone with them all day and even those times at night when they get up to use the restroom. For most families this is impossible to provide.
If an elderly individually goes into the hospital and has this tendency to occasionally fall once the hospital has done everything medically that it can do for this person then what happens? The hospital cannot keep this individual indefinitely, it will fill up eventually and have no room for patients who it can help. If the person is living with his children they cannot take proper care of him or her. Most of the nursing homes do not want to take in patients who will occasionally fall. They don’t have the manpower to watch them all the time and they could be liable if the individual falls and is seriously hurt.
If the individual is homeless he or she was picked up in the street. Are they to be released back there? Some of the hospitals in the city of Los Angeles were doing that, releasing these patients back to a homeless section of the city, leaving them out in the streets. This was presumably stopped when the city of Los Angeles sued the hospitals over this action. I’m not quite sure what they are doing now. Possibly releasing them outside the city limits. Seemingly there is a major homeless population in most major cities within the United States.
Another factor to consider is that a fair percentage of the homeless people, those living out on the street, have mental problems and are not really capable of holding a job. In 1967 in California then Governor Ronald Reagan signed the Lanterman-Petris-Short Act. It went into effect in 1969 and shut down the mental health system in the state and quickly became a national model, saving the states large amounts of money. In effect they released the harmless mentally disabled presumably back to their families but actually to join the homeless in the various cities around the nation. It would seem we are too poor a country to care for our mentally disabled.
What I find fascinating is that the United States today is the richest country in the history of the world but we cannot afford to take care of a goodly percentage of our helpless population. We are against Euthanasia but we are perfectly capable of allowing people to freeze to death while being homeless in the winter. We seem to have a superfluous percentage of our population that is non-productive and requires care for which the society does not want to pay or even acknowledge exists.
Is there a solution for this problem? Apparently not, according to the Republicans. To be Biblical:” As a man sows, let him reap.” Seemingly everyone is responsible for themselves. If they end up not able to take care of themselves and then undergo all sorts of suffering, then that’s their problem. A strange attitude for a group that professes to be Christian!
Of all the modern industrial nations the United States seemingly is one of the few that refuses to accept responsibility for all of its citizens. There is no real excuse for this type of behavior. We can easily afford a level of care for all the people in the country. There should be no homeless, particularly no homeless children who make up at least twenty-five percent of this population.
Why do we, as a nation, refuse to accept this basic responsibility? Is it individual greed? Is it a policy of letting the other people pay? Whatever it is this policy flouts the term hypocrisy over all our so-called decent values.
The point has been made in other articles that the distribution of the national income is blatantly unfair. Despite Republican protest that the upper twenty percent’s taxes being too high, these people do not pay their fair share of taxes. A person like Mitt Romney pays a lower percent of his income in taxes than the average middle or lower class individual or family. This is true for all the wealthy in the United States. They pay less in taxes, percentage wise, than everyone else.
Isn’t it time the principles of fairness were applied equally to everyone in this country? If that were done we could easily solve the problems stated in this blog.