Once upon a time I was elderly. I called it quits with that demographic after learning from The New Yorker’s James Surowiecki about the anti-social antics of my former cohorts.
Surowiecki wrote that the mid-term election results might accurately be called the “revolt of the retired”. The elderly not only turned out in unusually large numbers, they were fired up over a cause: to get rid of the Affordable Care Act, reviled by many critics as Obamacare.
Surowiecki reports that seniors are the only age group to favor actual repeal of the law. How can that be? Medicare is wildly popular among the elderly. Before it came to their rescue, about half of them had no health insurance. So they know first-hand the value of government-backed insurance. They just don’t want it extended to others.
Surowiecki says, “Opposing the new law while reaping the benefits of Medicare is essentially saying ‘I’ve got mine-good luck getting yours.’” He is being polite. What he describes is hypocrisy and those who espouse it are hypocrites plain and simple. Many elderly are not just passively saying “good luck, you are on your own,” they are actively voting to prevent the uninsured from achieving coverage.
To make matters worse, apparently it is misguided fear that the Affordable Care Act will be at the expense of Medicare that drives the anti-Act sentiment. Surowiecki says the act won’t actually cut Medicare spending, only slow its growth.
Can you blame me for not wanting to be part of that self-centered, misinformed, hypocritical and selfish crowd? It gives me no pleasure in predicting that they are in for a rude awakening. Their new friends have never liked Medicare and Social Security and never will. The same politicians who will go after the Affordable Care Act will sooner or later have Medicare and Social Security in their sights.
At 85, of course, I am elderly. But I am no more deluded in declaring myself not elderly than the millions of elderly who know from personal experience that government-managed health care is do-able and worthwhile and are in denial about it.