by Dan Seagren
Posted: June 7, 2009
Health-care reform will not be pain free…
There is a lot of talk about our health care. For those of us who are seniors, this means Medicare (and for some, Medicaid). We pay (nicely deducted) a certain amount and Medicare helps with our subsequent costs. Or our alternative plan to Medicare. There are deductibles, co-payments and other restrictions. For many, it works fine. Now it is becoming a very costly venture for the government which has spent-as-we-go monies already contributed with an IOU which may or may not be honored.
Here is what crossed my desk and gave me another pause: Most of you know by now that the Senate version (at least) of the "stimulus" bill includes provisions for extensive rationing of health care for senior citizens.…Another pundit added that health-care reform will not be pain free. Seniors should be more accepting of the conditions that come with age instead of treating them." Hmmm.
Now, folks, I am not an expert on health care, nationalized, private or otherwise. But I do have a little experience. We lived in a country with nationalized medicine. Our son, 10 years old, had a severe allergic reaction causing the school nurse to issue an emergency note for the health department. Because he could breathe, he was given an appointment 90 days ahead. By then he was fine.
Then, our daughter, 14, banged her leg into a table causing a severe gash. We rushed her to the nearest hospital but were told our hospital was in a different part of the city. When I asked the nurse if she would check the leg, she complied and took her immediately into her care. As I watched the physician suturing, I, a tough as nails? Dad, nearly passed out.
Our last experience involved my wife with a significant hearing loss. Not only did they fit her with a hearing aid, they made sure she was pleased. At no cost to us. The moral of the stories? People are people; systems are systems. Some are better than others.
So, if there is to be extensive rationing for senior citizens, and we are told to be more accepting of conditions that come with age instead of treating them, we just might have to come out fighting that possible senior moment we don't want or really deserve.
Dan Seagren is an active retiree whose writings reflect his life as a Pastor, author of several books, and service as a Chaplain in a Covenant Retirement Community.• E-mail the author (su.nergaesnad@brabnad*) • Author's website (personal or primary**)
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