Prevention is the best policy

Penny-wise and pound-foolish is an apt description of too many government policies. They save a few dollars in the short run, but at the cost of much more in the longer term.

One of those may be the Medicare policy on paying for rehabilitation services for senior citizens after they have been hospitalized. Current policy is that coverage is provided only after a senior has been hospitalized for at least three days.

An advisory panel is advising Congress to relax that a bit, by counting up to two hospital “observation days” toward the minimum.

That makes sense. Providing rehabilitation services should lessen the potential for Medicare beneficiaries to fall ill or be injured after even short hospital stays, requiring even more costly treatment as a result – quite possibly at the expense of the Medicare program.