Surgeons are telling me that patients approaching Medicare age are having their procedures prior to turning 65, the opposite situation of just a short time ago. In order to avoid the personal out-of-pocket expense associated with a knee replacement, for instance, patients in the past would typically wait until their Medicare enrollment was effective. This is no longer the case. Patients are telling their physicians that they fear that the care they need will not be available once “health care reform” takes place. The Medicare beneficiaries or soon to be Medicare beneficiaries are particularly concerned that the looming bankruptcy of this program will increasingly result in rationing to them.
Hmmm. Last time I had knee surgery, I was advised that I’d probably be needing a full-fledged replacement by age 60. That’s twenty months away. On the other hand, apart from the usual creaks and twinges and such from osteoarthritis, I’m not in any significant pain — about a 1.5 on the scale of 1 to a Rob Schneider movie — so I’m not feeling any particular urgency here.