It seems to me that someone, somewhere once thought that Medicare pays for everything. I think now that more and more people are on Medicare we are finding out that it does not. Medicare is HEALTH INSURANCE. Often times I have to explain to children of elderly parents that Medicare is NOT going to pay for their long term care needs. Medicare will not pay for room and board or care at an assisted living community. In fact, it will only pay for a limited number of days at a skilled nursing home upon discharge from the hospital. Then, the patient, should the decide to stay, needs to pay "out of pocket."
Its just like the health insurance that we have. It will pay for doctors visits and medication to some extent, but if we got laid up in a nursing home, and had to stay it would not pay after a certain number of days. Heck, the insurance companies have new mothers out of the hospital the day after birth because they don't want to pay for the "room and board."
But let me back up. Medicare is health insurance for people age 65 or older. You apply for it. And you pay for it, just like you pay a monthly premium for the health insurance you get through your job.