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Stupidity may win out on healthcare August 13, 2009

Posted by fetzthechemist in Uncategorized.
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I am at an age where I ought to be getting more and more sympathetic to the elderly, those 60 or older in my personal definition (I am 56). But I cringe almost everytime I hear an opinion from an elderly person. They come across as so petty and self-centerred. Their lack of empathy for and connection to anyone outside of their immediate family and circle of friends is scary and loathsome. They often expect respect and deferrence based only on their age. Their grasp of issues is often limited because they have not taken the time to keep up or to think through things.

The current furor among some of the elderly over healthcare is a great example. They think it will force them to make decisions about doctors or treatments. Well, the current insurance-driven system already does that! You cannot just choose anything or anyone. There are approvals and denials already happening. Prescriptions are skimped on by cutting pills in half to be over double the prescribed period. That is not the chimeric euthenasia they fear, cut it is a slower death by a thousand cutbacks.

Others lump the proposed changes in with other past and present issues that they feel adamant about – abortion, prayer in schools, gun control, illegal immigration, affirmative action. That litany the far-right wingnuts keep spewing about. They see an opportunity to be visible and vocal, so they shout and blow whistle. They make a mockery of the democracy they say they treasure. They make themselves look like the ignorant backwards-looking fools that they are. The world will not stand on its head and reverse course. Adapt to it.

Since most seniors have heavily-subsidized healthcare through Medicare, they are insulated from how awful the system currently is. They think paying twenty dollars for a prescription is bad, when it would be five or ten times that without Medicare. They routinely receive treatments and operations costing tens of thousands of dollars and bewail a refusal for the million-dollar ones. In the real world, neither is available to most people because they have to pay a great portion, if not all, of the cost.

The elderly whine about welfare moms and the government supporting illegal immigrants, yet they accept monthly checks from Social Security that dwarf their own contributions to it. They think that system is their retirement money, instead of the supplement it was meant to be. They rely on it so heavily now that their political clout ensures their poor planning and decisions get covered by the rest of us who pay into the system.

So now they are trying to torpedo any efforts to ensure that others get adequate healthcare. As I’ve said before, the so called “greatest generation” is turning out to outdo the “me first” younger generations in terms of greed.

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