A recent study entitled Reducing Medicare Expenditures advocates that seniors should be banned from owning ladders, step stools and living in two-story homes with stairs. The recommendations were in light of the fact that Medicare is one of the fastest growing entitlement programs and accidental falls by seniors are the number one preventable injury sustained by Medicare beneficiaries. It was estimated that eliminating the treatment of injuries of seniors when they fall off ladders or down stairs could save Medicare 10% – 15% a year. This in turn would reduce Medicare spending and potential tax increases.
Seniors should voluntarily give up ladders
The study was commissioned by the nonprofit Patriots Opposed To Tax Increases (POTTI) in effort to find alternatives to raising taxes to pay for costly Medicare expenses. Noted gerontologist Tisha Papier cited that at age 65 the cognitive and reflex abilities rapidly deteriorate and “just walking in a straight line, let alone on a ladder or stairs, is dangerous”. The study suggested that seniors should voluntarily give up their ladders within six months of passage of the new regulations. For those seniors living in two-story homes, if the Medicare beneficiary could not sell the home within the year, the study suggested moving all items downstairs and installing locked gate so they could not climb on the stairs.
Getting out of bed is risky for seniors
Backlash to the study immediately erupted in the safety industry. Opposition was immediately mounted from the “Help…I’ve fallen and can’t get up” alert system. Spokesperson Roary Loudman said that banning seniors from climbing on ladder to clean gutters or install Christmas lights would put him out of business. Executive Director of POTTI, Bea Day, countered that there were plenty of seniors that could benefit from the alert system as falling out of bed was still a challenge for many seniors. Day gushed, “This is a ground breaking study and if the recommendations are put in place will save Americans a bowl full of cash and prevent tax increases.”
Banning knives could save taxes
Not only were ladders and stairs recommended to be off-limits to seniors, all knives and sharp objects are on the list to be banned. “It is always a sad day when a senior has to be admitted to the E.R. from a fall or cut. Not only is it traumatic for the frail senior, it costs us tax payers a ton of money to treat a very preventable injury.” Bea Day commented from the POTTI headquarters in Stool, Tx.
Flush the study says SHiT members
Sue Anthony of Seniors Helping in Transition (SHiT) said that the study and Bea Day were full of…um…poo-poo. Anthony noted that POTTI membership is limited to persons under 65 years old and a major supporter of the study was the Coalition of Medicare Advantage Plans of America (CMAPA). In a defiant tone, SHiT member Tony Roberts said, “No one is going to make me a second class citizen just because I’m on Medicare. As far as I am concerned you can flush the study and POTTI right down the crapper”.
Sidewalk ice next for elimination to save tax dollars
Medicare Advantage plans, a primary source of funding for the study, are privately run companies that administer Medicare benefits and are always looking for ways to reduce expenses. A spokesperson for CMAPA declined to comment noting that seniors are under a lot of stress and that they should be allowed to live in quiet environment. The recommendations have been passed along to Rep. Paul Ryan, Chairman of the House Budget Committee, who was over heard speculating if he could get money to move all the seniors to Florida where, “They don’t have ice on sidewalks” which causes seniors to slip and fall.