Medicare is not about health insurance or health care. It is not about the money.
It is about security. It is about finally not having to worry about pre-existing conditions or getting kicked off a medical insurance plan. It is about not having to worry whether you are healthy enough to qualify for membership. It is about finally not having to pass some sort of test administered by a faceless, heartless insurance company review board.
It is about not having to lie and hide your real health issues to fool some hospital or doctor into treating you.
It is regaining your dignity as a human being.
It is about a release from the following things and more that you have suffered through the past 47+ years you have been working in a country that says it values you but only cares about how economically viable you are.
– The anxiety of being able to hang on to a job you hate but provides your health care.
– The anxiety that comes every October/November when the company you work for rolls out your benefits choices where your premiums and co-pays increase, your coverage shrinks and your doctor is no longer a choice on the plan.
– The anxiety every year when your individual plan you carry as a small business owner renewal date comes around and you hope that the letter is only a premium increase of 20-30% and not one that says they are dropping you because you went to the doctor last year for a bone scan or an MRI.
– The anxiety of hoping you will have insurance when the company merger is completed.
– The anxiety of not being able to take a day off to see the doctor for that cough that won’t go away because it could be cancer and if it is, you will need to use your company-provided insurance, get fired for some “performance issues” and then lose your insurance. The small comfort you feel because you will die knowing you did not cause extreme hardship on your family for not getting treated.
Paul Ryan and Mitt Romney will never feel any of that anxiety which makes it easy to tout courageous and bold decisions.
In the twilight hours of the day, the truth is your plan is neither bold nor courageous if your dog ain’t in the hunt.