Saturday, June 30, 2012

Another life transition

I heard with mixed emotions the news of the Supreme Court upholding the constitutionality of “Obamacare.”

No one really knows what will happen when—and if, unless it's killed by legislation—it becomes fully operational in 2014. The Republicans still use it as a wedge issue in this election year. “Boy! If you hated Obamacare when you thought the Supreme Court was gonna declare it unconstitutional, now it’s gonna be law and you’ll really hate it!”

If left as is I’m sure it will have growing pains. All new programs do, especially programs that promise to radically change the established order. But even Republicans would have to agree it looks like it would give someone an opportunity to make money. Adding over 30 million people to the insurance rolls will certainly help fatten some wallets. Maybe instead of expending their energy to kill it, they should try to figure out how they can cash in. After all, Republicans are really good at that.

Romney's prayer: ”Lord, please help to get me elected so I can kill Obamacare, the enemy of all that is good and holy in thy sight. (Even if it is based on the program I signed into law as governor of Massachusetts, which was righteous and correct.) And if being President isn’t within thy plan and I don’t win, please help me make some real money in the health insurance business!”

Personally, I think the Republicans are in for a fight. If Barack Obama has shown anything it’s that he doesn’t back down. Not any more, not since he found out there is no compromise with the right-wing knuckleheads on the hill.

Is this the look of a man who appears afraid to fight? I think not.

For me it’s probably all moot. Today, June 30, 2012, is my last day on my old insurance plan. I have gotten my health insurance through the school district practically my whole adult life. When my wife went to work for them they gave her the option to put me on her health plan for an extra $7.00 a year. No, I didn’t say $700.00, but seven bucks. Incredible. I went to work for them in 1976. Even though what I paid for my insurance was considerably more than $7.00 when I retired, I’ve never complained about my costs for health insurance. As part of my retirement benefit I was allowed to stay on the plan until I turned 65. That’s in about another week, so as of tomorrow, my last remaining tie to my old employer will be history, and I will be turned over to Medicare.

My doctors all hate it because Medicare doesn’t pay them much, but they’re stuck with me. Based on the experiences of other people I know, I expect a smooth transition into Medicare. The thing that bothers me is having those rascal Republicans trying to slash away at a benefit I believe I have earned after a lifetime of work. I began my working life about a year before Medicare was introduced in the sixties. It got a lot of political heat, and the anguished cry went up that it was going to break the country, but of course it didn’t. It had many growing pains, but after 47 years I believe it has found its course. Let’s hope so, anyway.

(What breaks the country is running a string of expensive wars. I don’t know why paying for useless wars is okay and giving health care to citizens is not, but then I don’t have the brain of a Republican.)

I just have a question that no one has answered for me yet. If the Affordable Health Care Act is commonly known as “Obamacare,” then why isn’t Medicare “Johnsoncare” or Social Security “Rooseveltcare” or even “FDRcare”?

1 comment:

Kirk said...

That last sentence made me laugh out loud.