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The Lake News Online
  • Lake view: The rising cost keeping people alive

  • Health care costs have gone through the roof. Everyone knows that. And there is growing concern about how the Affordable Care Act will make costs even higher for families and for business. What you may not have heard is the talk in Washington about how the cost of keeping people alive with chronic conditions is growing even faster.
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  • Health care costs have gone through the roof. Everyone knows that. And there is growing concern about how the Affordable Care Act will make costs even higher for families and for business.  What you may not have heard is the talk in Washington about how the cost of keeping people alive with chronic conditions is growing even faster. 
    I did a little research from a variety of sources and found that in general having a baby will cost you roughly $236,000 from conception through to about age 17.  There are all kinds of variables but this is a good estimate.  The cost of treating a person with Alzheimer's runs about $75,000 a year, based on skilled nursing care and a semi-private room.  That does not include medication or basic needs.  There are all kinds of advocacy groups for protecting the welfare and quality of life of babies from conception to birth.  Many heated discussions and lots of action from people in Washington to protect this segment of society.  Granted, senior service options and care is available and mostly covered by insurance, but this segment of society doesn't warrant the degree of discussion that the first one does.  In fact, it has been suggested by at least one senator that maybe there should be a cap on the expenditure for people with diseases like Alzheimer's because it is so expensive.
     Alzheimer's is the second most common killer of seniors, one in three people will develop it.  Do we consider the end of life to be less valuable to society than the beginning of life?
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