Monday, December 3, 2012

The World According to Medicare

When you are 66, like me, you start to think about what life will be like when you are really old.  Yeah,  I know: you young 'uns think that 66 is really old already.

No, I am talking about people in their 80s that are falling apart.  It could be dementia; it could be physical problems, like balance or glaucoma or a heart condition.

Life looks very different to you and the people that look after you when you get to that age.

Whatever the situation, you and your nearest and dearest must deal with the immense frustration that you are less that a full human being.  You can't get around.  Or you can't be left alone.  Or you can't communicate properly.

Of course, the same applies to children.  But with children there is this:  every day they grow and become more competent and independent.  With an older person the opposite is true, and this is very frustrating for all concerned.

Then there is the expense.  In the old days, people took to their beds and then fever or something soon took them off.  You nursed the invalid or you could afford a slave or a servant to care for them at a minor expense.  Today we have technology and government and institutions, and they are very expensive.  There has to be a better way.

The trouble with the expense is that we all have to turn to government: for medical costs, for care-giving, for drugs.  Nothing wrong with that, of course, except that government is force, and anything rendered unto government ends up as force: one-size-fits-all, bureaucracy, guidelines, and crony capitalism.  There has to be a better way.

Some day in the future, people will look back on our age and marvel at our stupidities:  the way we confine children in child custodial facilities, the way we barrack the sick in hospital factories, the way we warehouse the aged in "independent/assisted living facilities."  It's as though the gang system of the slave plantation and the factory had taken over the whole of society.

Wouldn't it be great if baby boomers like me could find a better way to deal with old age other than big budgets, big government and big warehouses.

Don't hold your breath.  The defining principle of the baby boomers has always been: we break it; you fix it.

1 comment:

  1. Technology and the other expenses of care for the elderly (or of any age) is not really that expensive, it is made to appear so in order for the government to perpetuate their command and control strategy.

    As long as baby boomers and the so-called 47% continue to think they're getting a great deal nothing will change. They're happy getting a 95% discount on a $100 item through Medicare, the powers-that-be don't want you to know the $100 item costs $6.50 if there was a free market.

    Some day the house of cards will collapse, but right now they fell for the 'free stuff' line our man Obama is selling. The IPAB will take care of the cost soon enough, once we're old and useless whatever care we need won't be covered. Unless you're in congress of course...