It is rather unsurprising that free FutureCare has not worked out. We simply don’t have the money for such an elaborate initiative. Means tested is the way to go and it requires examination of not only cash but also equity. In today’s Royal Gazette interesting comments were made about some of our seniors.
Claudette Flemming, Age Concern’s director, said: "It is a legitimate question, should those that can afford to pay for private care get FutureCare? But then the question is how do you determine who can afford it?"
With 25 percent of seniors living off $30,000 or less there are many incidents of seniors being land rich but cash poor, she said. (emphasis added)
Sorry, but land rich and cash poor? Is Ms. Flemming implying that these individuals should or should not be eligible? Quite unfortunately there are ‘land rich’ seniors out there who live in big multi bedroom homes alone. Should government be stepping in to give them hand outs because they are ‘cash poor’ but happen to be sitting on a mountain of equity? This while young Bermudians face greater taxation as debts are run up? The same young Bermudians who struggle to afford even meager hopes of accommodation yet are preached to about how they’re unwilling to sacrifice?
Certainly there are alternatives such as selling their land/homes for more reasonable accommodations or taking out reverse mortgages such that they could tap into their equity and afford better care? Certainly, seniors deserve good care. However, what we risk is that Bermuda pumps so much money into flawed initiatives like ‘FutureCare’ that when today’s youth get into power and wake up to how much debt we have to cover, things will change very quickly. Today’s leading generations are going wild on the spending, ratcheting up debt. Who will pay off this debt? If you’re senior now or are approaching that age perhaps it is time to start asking the questions of what happens when the younger generations get into power and how we’ll react when we realize that you’ve stuck us with this much debt?