Medicare “vouchers” - what if no insurance company wants to take you on? What then? Some back alley agency? | Street Jazz

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Medicare “vouchers” - what if no insurance company wants to take you on? What then? Some back alley agency?

Posted By on Wed, Jun 6, 2012 at 11:41 AM

There are folks among us who, because of the financial conditions in their lives, are not able to buy the automobile insurance that others may have, with all the bells and whistles. While those who sold it to them may have convinced them that it is perfect for their “lifestyle” (another word, like the increasingly goofy “awesome” and “extreme,” will one day will be remembered with all the creepiness of the word “groovy’) anyone getting into an accident with them may regret it financially.

And actually, so may the hapless souls who have been taken in by the folks who sold them the insurance in the first place.

I have been thinking about that some lately whenever anyone touts the Paul Ryan budget plan, which has been endorsed not only by Mitt Romney, but by every Republican without a spine - not to mention Ayn Rand, no doubt clumping around in the after life, performing her impression of an Irish jig.

The plan - for those few (or many, which may be closer to the frightening truth) who haven’t been paying attention over the recent past - would remake Medicare into something much closer to the free market fantasy which those who despise it have always wanted it to be. Seniors and the disabled, the folks who have been used to getting a free ride on the backs of the American people (just like those government workers and unionized teachers) would receive vouchers, so that they could - or this is how the theory works - choose their own plans among the many that are now available to them, and manage their own health care options.

Ah, Freedom and Liberty triumph once more! There isn’t one older person I have ever met battling cancer who wouldn’t have eagerly taken on the additional task of dealing with the cheerful souls at insurance companies all by their lonesomes, without any government assistance at all.

This will probably add years to their lives.

But consider this . . .

This now being a totally free market heaven - because ostensibly Obamacare, which many on the right, touting as an evil an a level equal to the deprivations of Osama bin Laden and his Merry Men and will have been vanquished - what if the insurance company takes one good look (or even a cursory glance) at you at says, “No, thanks. You’re a bad risk.”

Some among us have what are known as “pre-existing conditions.” Tracy and I were once sharing a pleasant meal with a woman from Aflac, who upon learning that several years I had gone through a slight bout of skin cancer, was out of the Springdale Jose’s in about five minutes.

So we’d have a generation of folks wandering from soulless office to soulless office, being turned down while the classic rock hits of the past play chirpily overhead.

Eventually, many might consider the route that some car owners have been forced down, that of the cheap insurance, which tells you that all those bells and whistles are for the pretentious, that real people never need them.

Like chemo, perhaps.

Eventually, unless we want to see obituary pages rival the sports pages in length, the government may well be forced to pick up the slack again, to behave in a responsible manner.

But being the government, and given the ability of the True Believers to gloss over any and all pain to actual human beings, in their quest for a capitalistic Utopia, that might take years.

And in the meantime . . .

Oh, and as for the reality of that “inexpensive” car insurance that many folks are forced to find for themselves?

Poor People Pay Outrageously Unfair Amounts For Car Insurance, New Study Shows

Think these companies, no matter how small, no matter how dingy the office might be or hard to find, aren’t coming up with “health plans” for the blessed day when the Freedom-killing Obamacare is removed? You know, Obamacare - which requires Americans to buy insurance from private companies.

But then, forcing us to make sure our parents and grandparents are adequately taken care of?

What has this country come to?


Silence gives Consent? Editorial pages unwilling to address the Jim House/Butch Pond affront to democracy?

“The maxim is "Qui tacet consentire": the maxim of the law is ‘Silence gives consent.’ If therefore you wish to construe what my silence betokened, you must construe that I consented.” - Thomas More, “A Man For All Seasons,” written by Robert Bolt

Well, maybe somebody is hard at work on one hell of an editorial about the bomb that Jim House just dropped on the voters of his district, when he not only dropped out of the race, but revealed that, shucks, he never actually intended to run against Republican Butch Pond for the Quorum Court anyway. A piece which will knock our political, intellectual and emotional socks off. A piece which make us say, “Now this is why I’m glad I learned how to read!”

An editorial which addresses political collusion and betrayal of the voters, with no holds barred.

So far, though, there has been unrelenting silence.

And the Latin maxim “Silence gives Consent,” may well be true here. Perhaps there is reluctance to criticize House, who has served in the state legislature, but that is all the more reason to be critical of him, not less.

If not to his party, at least, Jim House owed the people of his district his political and intellectual honesty. He has betrayed both the Democratic Party of Washington County and the voters of his district, who certainly would probably have preferred to have someone other than Butch Pond on the Quorum Court.

As I say, though, I may well be jumping the gun. I truly am hoping that someone is going to address this on the editorial pages, in a manner that fits the subject.

Go ahead: knock my socks off.



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To you I'm an atheist; to God, I'm the Loyal Opposition. - Woody Allen, Stardust Memories (1980)

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