As I'm sitting here listening to the storm that is rolling it outside, and the noise of Mom and DH positioning things to jack up the floor in the basement, I keep thinking about a news story that was on the local news a couple days ago. A number of nurses were headed down to Springfield to protest and talk to the legislature about not cutting things from Medicare. They were saying that they were going down there to speak up for the needs of their patients and against cuts that the state is talking about making to the system to keep itself solvent.
On the surface this is a really good and noble idea. Those who care for others giving them a voice against those in power taking advantage of those who are vulnerable. But if you look at the issue on more than just a surface level, you can see many layers of a very complicated issue. Companies are "retiring" people earlier and earlier these days, in many cases people who are very good at their jobs are being "retired" out so that the company will not have to pay them retirement benefits. They are making the argument that they can hire someone younger to do the same job for less money. In the short term I can see the business case. But what about the cost to the rest of us, outside the business world. What happens when all the aging Babyboomers, who were "retired" out of their jobs before they qualified for retirement benefits, when they become older and need more care? Right now most of them are healthy, my Mom and In-Laws included, but so many of them are starting to suffer the diseases of old age and are working at jobs that they may lose at any time. Do the powers that be understand or care what happens to the bill for their care once they are kicked out of the private sector??? Maybe it's because I already lost one parent that I have a pretty consuming worry for the well being of my remaining parent. She is one of the lucky few who are able to purchase private healthcare, for the time being. When she's not able to do this anymore the burden of bills will go to the tax payers; the rest of us. The nurses idea is still a good one.
One of the major political arguments that is bound to come up in this election year is this issue of taxes. Now in case anyone has not made this connection before, its our tax dollars that fund things like Medicare. I know it's part of Social Security and all that but it all comes from the same accounts. Now while we argue that no funding should be cut to seniors and other Medicare recipients, it occurs to me that there is no way of doing this without raising or freezing the amount of taxes that we pay. No one wants this. So it occurs to me that we can't have it both ways. We can't be an entitlement society and not be taxed very heavily (and unfortunately we are moving more and more toward an entitlement system). If those who have worked most of their lives are not able to take care of them selves we should have something in place to help them and at least provide adequate medical care. In the case of those who are NOT willing to put in the work, I'm sorry but my policy would be, no job (or proof that you are looking as hard as you can) and your benefits need to have a time limit on them. I know this will get me flamed but I'm going to say it anyway: Just because you are born into bad circumstances does not mean that you automatically get benefits or help. Sometimes peoples bad situations are not their fault, sometime they are no ones fault but their own, but bad situations should not entitle you to free healthcare on my dime. We just can't have it both ways.
So either we tax up, or we get off the entitlement bandwagon. What is fair is not always equal.
I'll get off my soapbox now. . .
Have a good night everyone!