August 9, 2010

$50 Billion Last Year, 8/8/2010 (60 Minutes Shocker)

How much does it cost to die? The answer might shock you, as seen in the 60 Minutes segment last night that showed how Medicare is paying huge amounts of money for the last moments of people's lives.

The medical care and treatment provided to Americans in the last two months of their lives amounted to a whopping $55 billion in doctor and hospital bills paid be Medicare.

Said one expert, "This is the way so many Americans die. Something like 18 to 20 percent of Americans spend their last days in an ICU. And, you know, it's extremely expensive. It's uncomfortable. Many times they have to be sedated so that they don't reflexively pull out a tube, or sometimes their hands are restrained. This has become almost the medical last rites for people as they die."

$50 Billion Last Year, 8/8/2010 (60 Minutes Shocker)

Every medical study ever conducted has concluded that 100 percent of all Americans will eventually die. This comes as no great surprise, but the amount of money being spent at the very end of people's lives probably will. Last year, Medicare paid $55 billion just for doctor and hospital bills during the last two months of patients' lives. That's more than the budget for the Department of Homeland Security, or the Department of Education. And it has been estimated that 20 to 30 percent of these medical expenses may have had no meaningful impact. Most of the bills are paid for by the federal government with few or no questions asked.

$50 Billion Last Year, 8/8/2010 (60 Minutes Shocker)

Posted at August 9, 2010 6:01 AM