During many of the debates and conversations regarding our health care issues I have heard more than one pundit opine, with a smug sneer, that some people complain about a government takeover of health care but they don’t want the government to mess with Medicare. They then deliver what they assume is some sort of debate coup de grace by observing that Medicare is a government program. Viola, those opposed don’t know what they are talking about or can’t think logically and the government is very good at whatever mission it undertakes. They assume that is a slam dunk argument that has no riposte. Well, if I were at one of those town hall meetings and that comment was made again I would have some things to say about it in reply.
First of all, the notion that Medicare is run very well is a complete joke. If you have had to be involved with it at all then you know what I am talking about. If you take your mother or grandmother to the doctor’s and she needs hospitalization then the fun just begins. The red tape and bureaucracy to comply with Medicare requirements are staggering and confusing and often non sensical. Lord forbid if there are tests or evaluations that have to be done. If you think the insurance companies by themselves make it complicated to receive your medical treatment, I assure you it isn’t improved when you add the Medicare bureaucracy on top of it. What is covered, what is not covered, who will do the procedure, where can you get it done, if you’re merely sick there is no long term assisted living care but if you have a hearing problem it might be; the list of conflicting and confusing issues is increased, not decreased with the government involvement. I would also take out one of the government publications explaining the Medicare prescription drug program. Just read that at a town hall meeting. It is not a question of being intelligent, but they are written as though it came from a Japenese mental hospital and was translated by Whirling Dervishes hopped up on absinthe. Really, if you have never read one of those get it from a relative, read the damn thing. That is the best illustration of how efficient the government is at doing anything. That should be enough to rest your case.
Of course there is the little matter of money and how Medicare is paid for by all of us. The smart set liberals deride those opposed by saying we gladly accept the socialized medicine provided by Medicare. Well, I would say that you darn right I do. After all the government stole my money from me in the first place for 40 years now to pay for medicare. In my case I have paid in over $63,000.00 in Medicare taxes over the years. Add yours up, you’ll be surprised at the amount. I am taking my medicare benefits, I have paid for them. Of course you must remember that I was denied the use of my money all these years. I could have invested that money. Even if it was only at a 3% rate of return that number would have grown to well over $100,000.00 over 40 years. Don’t forget that Medicare is like any other insurance–it is a gamble on risk/reward. If I die in a few years then the system will have profitted handsomely off of me. Even if I live to a ripe old age but I have no health issues and simply drop dead some day they will likewise have made out like the bandits they are. It was my money, not theirs. If they had forced me to save that money and given me interest at 3% or even 2% over all the years I would be happy for them to give it back to me at age 65 and I will take care of my own health insurance needs, thank you very much. That would have bought lots of insurance coverage. I have paid in no telling how much for medical coverage over the years with my private policy. I have been blessed with good health and they have made a nice profit on me. But that it is ok and because it was voluntary on both sides of the equation. I didn’t have to take out the policy or get the coverage. The big difference of course is that the insurance company didn’t have the right to come take my money against my will. They made a profit, it was not thief. I have nothing against any company making profits otherwise my claim for coverage would be worthless.
That same argument is true with Social Security. I have paid in well in excess of $100,000.00 over 50 years. If I had been able to keep my own money or at least control its investment and kept it in treasury bills or CD’s and got a very low 3% return it would have been over $200,000.00 by now. Of course I take my social security check each month and with no thank you’s to anyone–its my money in the first place that was consfiscated by the government to meet someone else’s social agenda, not mine. I would be glad to have that $200,000.00 plus in cash now and provide for my own retirement needs without any help or interference by the government. Of course it is also a gamble, if I die soon then the government will have made lots of money off of me. My heirs don’t even get the excess. My surviving spouse will receive payments but again that is merely getting back part of what we put in. It is her money. There is the added insult with Social Security that they steal your money in the first place, do not pay you any interest on the money whatsoever and then when you take it out, they tax you on your own damn money. I mean you paid taxes on your income when you got that money in the first place and then they tax you again when they graciously give you back some portion of your money. They expect me to smile and say “thank you”, that would be like saying thanks to the burglar or thief who returned your stolen goods. You’ll be glad to have them back but not grateful to the thief.
“Liberty means responsibility. That is why most men dread it.” George Bernard Shaw www.olcranky.wordpress.com