I recently got over my fear and had surgery.  It provided so much relief and improved function I recommend spinal surgery for everyone whether you need it or not.

Since I am a card carrying Nancy Boy you may suspect my fear was of the knife.  You would be wrong.

My fear was of slipping from the poverty level to the desperate poverty level where you boil an old shoe or resort to pica for dinner.

Less than decade ago I had the experience of getting a raise at work.  I busted right through that ten dollar an hour New Mexico cap for middle management running a department.


I ran to the personnel department and said, “SIGN ME UP” FOR HEALTH CARE because I can finally afford it.

They explained that they would… eventually, but private insurance companies in America only open the “window” for health insurance changes and enrollment in November.  No one knows why.

NO, that is not a government regulation.

The Libertarian among us might want to reexamine the part of their catechism that predicts absence of regulation leads to delivery of things customers want.  Like health insurance companies that let you enroll in May…

Deer hunting season is longer in most states than the health insurance enrollment window….

My appendix scoffed at “open enrollment” season and decided to rupture.  It was as close a death tango as one can dance.  They saved my life.  I was grateful.  My dog was grateful.  The bills totaled $54,000.00.  I had no insurance.

I have Medicare now.

America’s right wing hates Medicare.  They would like to see it extinguished.  Ronald Reagan had this to say on the subject in 1963.

“[I]f you don’t [stop Medicare] and I don’t do it, one of these days you and I are going to spend our sunset years telling our children and our children’s children what it once was like in America when men were free.”

In 1964, George H.W. Bush was among the first to call it “socialized medicine.”

President Lyndon Johnson still signed it into law in 1965.

I would like to thank Progressives, Liberals and Democrats for Medicare.

I would be in a wheelchair today if I had not had my recent surgery.  I would not have been able to afford that surgery without Medicare.

Having read so many fright wing blogs and internet comments, I was apologetic and nervous as I told receptionist after receptionist I “only” had Medicare (on my path to getting my spine repaired).  One receptionist looked at me and said…  “No problem.  EVERYONE TAKES MEDICARE”.

AND THEY DID, and they do, and no… Doctors are not clogging the airports emigrating to Brazil and medical facilities are not boarding up their windows and having going out of business fire sales to dodge the ACA.  Not in my state.

I did the books on my medical bills for the recent surgery.  My TOTAL surgery bill is around $18,000.00.  My copay is around $2,500.00.  The surgeon stuck a deal with me.  He said If I could get up and walk to the bathroom after the surgery without help I could go home.  I did.  Had I been hospitalized overnight my copay would be double what it is… for one night of red jello and help to the restroom…

Could we do better?  Most wealthy countries do.  Am I grateful?  You bet I am.  I can walk.  I’ll pay off my share in around 3 years if I can keep dodging the dentist and optometrist.  Yes, they charge interest on the unpaid portion of my medical debt.

Medicare and Social security are not driving our American debt problems.  Medicare recipients pay a monthly insurance premium unless they are at the poverty level or below.  Social Security has a dedicated trust fund people pay into during their working lives.  Both programs are simply insurance.

Both programs are solvent and will continue to be with a few minor tweaks now and again which is nothing new.

No, these programs are not the rabble voting themselves “cookies”.  These programs have helped many millions and lifted seniors and the disabled out of desperation.

“In this world of sin and sorrow there is always something to be thankful for; as for me, I rejoice that I am not a Republican.” – H. L. Mencken

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18 Responses to Medicare

  1. Medicare is the ONLY reason I’m alive. I’m still pissed about the backroom deal to make health coverage mandatory without giving us a public option. And yet, our politicians (especially Libertarians) tell us they believe in giving us more choices.

    The big question is will how far will Obama go to offer up Medicare and Soc. Security to the GOP as blood sacrifice honor tribute? The way I see it, either the Dems admit that Obama has sold us out, or they’re going to lose bigtime in 2014. We’re at a turning point. The question is will we move forward or fall backward so drastically we make the Bush years look like utopia?

    • osolynden says:

      Hi Moosehammer. Yes, Medicare has been a wonderful thing for many. It is a real horror to see it continue to be under attack. It’s interesting to note it has been (under attack) from it’s inception and long before everyone was screaming about the debt.

      2014 will be fascinating. Obama has made it clear he is NOT the liberal some paint him as. Instead of improving health care we seem to be losing ground.

      • Obama seems to give in on to many issues lately and now he signed the Monsanto Protection Act. That pissed me off. That is my livelihood. Monsanto is purely evil, wanting to monopolize and control all farmers and stop small organic farms like us. WTF???

        I say we need Universal healthcare. Health-care should be a right not a privilege.

        The controversial Monsanto Protection Act‎ -

    • osolynden says:

      There was talk from the president that he was going to work on allowing Medicare to negotiate drug prices like the VA is allowed to do. The VA gets their drugs for HALF PRICE compared to Medicare part D. Why has he not pursued this if saving dollars is the issue?

  2. spk945 says:

    I will never understand why portions of this country have such a problem with Medicare, Social Security, or even Unemployment Insurance. Every payday I, and millions of other worker bees along with our employers, paid into those programs with the understanding that they would be there when we needed them. Now they want to change the understanding because there are so many of us becoming eligible in the next decade or so and they don’t want to have to live up to their end of the bargain.

    • osolynden says:

      Hi SPK! I subscribed to your blog and left a like on the “about” home page.

      There are so many ways we could meet the challenge of the baby boom retirees other than slashing benefits. Above I mention allowing Medicare to negotiate drug prices. That would save BILLIONS.

      • There are a lot of ways that we could meet our challenges, care for everyone, and still save money. Most everyone thinks it can’t be done here, but I know it can. It just takes a bit of creative thinking and planning. I think the first step would be to remove the corporate profit structures from any plan and make health care completely nonprofit. That would reduce the costs significantly right from the get go.

        I saw you stopped by my “about” page. Now I just have to get busy and write something interesting so that your subscription is not in vain. 🙂

        • osolynden says:

          All we lack is the political will to save Medicare and our other social programs. Cutting profit out of medical care would work wonders. Without even doing that a 7% cut in the Pentagon budget would do the trick…. What I wonder does a military golf course cost to build?

          I have no doubt you will post something wonderful when time permits. 😉

  3. I iz firm believer what Sen.Bernie Sanders says about Healthcare…nuff said. 😉

    “It is an international embarrassment that the United States remains the only major country on earth that does not guarantee health care to all of its people, while spending twice as much per capita as most other nations,” said Senator Sander

  4. Melissa Hart says:

    I cringe every time I hear a Conservaturd talk about doing away with Medicare. I do believe that most of them don’t realize that it’s not just paid for with our tax dollars. I’m glad it was there for you and others to use when needed.

    • osolynden says:

      Only 25% of Seniors have “Advantage Plans” private insurance. That means 75% of our seniors ONLY have Medicare for their health care needs. Here is hoping they preserve it for YOU and every American. As time passes most of us get there…

  5. thomassparky says:

    We will become a third world country overnight without Social Security, Medicare, Medicade! I hope Bernie can rally enough in congress to stop it’s demise!

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