Saturday, October 12, 2013

I've Got Mine!

So far I have not collected a dime off Medicare although I have been on their rolls for about two years.
We have had this National Health for older people since 1965 and I have paid more into this system than Social Security.  Can you imagine the price of Private Insurance at an older age with all the aches and pains and the pre existing conditions of just having grown older?  It is about $1,200 per month, if you can get it.  Most Americans are happy to have Medicare, finally to retire and get out of paying such high prices for medical insurance.  It is a great system.  Although as a whole the USA ranks low for quality health care in the world, after we reach 65 and get on National Health, we rank #1.
   I, personally, have no need for it.  Now at least.  I am glad it is there.  It is reassuring that it will be there for when I need it.  I have been to foreign countries where the older people are pretty much thrown to the streets, beggars in rags.  They say a society can be judged by how well they treat their elders and the children, the very young, the old, the weakest among them.
   I sense a certain meanness to people who would not expand our National Health.  We have proof that it works for those using Medicare, so "it won't work" is not much of an argument.  We know it works for Veterans.  I don't understand the apprehension of expanding this system.
   The system we have is broken.  Businesses can not afford to provide health insurances for their workers.  Hospitals can not afford to provide free medical emergency services for those who drop in and use the hospitals are their primary care.  Health care in USA is 18% of our Gross Domestic Product, the highest of any nation.
   "Obamacare" is far from perfect and the policies that are being offered are not very good.  In fact, for this first year, I have advised my own daughters to pay the fine rather than to sign up for a nonfunctional insurance policy, but I am glad there is a fine to pay.  I am glad we have started this process.  It is the Law now and I am glad of that.  The issue now should be how to improve it.
    There is a huge Philosophical Issue here:  Individual Freedom Vs Societal Responsibility and it is OK to take a stand on this issue but you can't go back and forth.  If you are against National Health you should burn your Medicare card!  Do not go to the emergency room without cash in hand or a private insurance card.  Do not take prescription drugs that were developed with Government funding.  Go live on the pond like a hermit and I will respect that position.  To accept aid from living in a society and not wanting to share this with others is just plain mean.
   I wouldn't mind the other extreme, seriously.  I have never received food stamps, unemployment, housing assistance, free medical care or any other government service.  I would have to give up my monthly Social Security Check and that would be difficult.  After just four years I am receiving more than I have ever put in.  You are too, that is the way it works.  It would be a harsh world.  Beggars and cripples and the ill on the streets.  I would probably become a gun advocate and live in fear.  I've got mine and have to live out my days worrying about someone taking it away from me.  That wouldn't be nice.  I can imagine a better world.  Why not work in that direction?

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