Cross posted on Daily Kos and My Left Wing
Sat Dec 24, 2005 at 09:16:00 AM PDT
Sometimes it easier to recognize the impact of government corruption, failed government–call it what you will–when you examine it on what economists call the micro level–the impact on individual behavior, as opposed to the macro level–group behavior.
I’m speaking again about the Medicare Drug benefit and the deleterious impact it’s having on senior citizens across the country.
Perhaps, I can illustrate this point by recounting a conversation I had a few days ago with my 94-year-old neighbor. She has better mental accuity than I do, she knows a swindle when she sees it.
It’s not a wise political move for a government to scam a vulnerable group of citizens in such a critical area of their lives as their health care needs. But as we all know, this is exactly what Mr. Bush and his Republican backers are doing over and over and over.
I passed my neighbor in the hall and I asked her how she was doing. She is a widow and lives with a home health care aide. She told me everything was good, if she could only figure out “those damn Medicare papers, that don’t stop clogging her mailbox.” She asked me if I’d like to come into her apartment for a moment and she produced an enormous folder which she had neatly saved from what looked like a thousand different companies all vying for her Medicare business.
She remarked, “there’s got to be a lot of money in this for someone or why would they be sending me all this stuff?”
This strikes me as accurate, I thought to myself.
“Why couldn’t they just have made this simple?” She asked, puzzled.
Of course, the “they” she was referring to was Mr. Bush and the Republicans who championed and passed this fiasco.
I started to answer–you might imagine the expletive filled diatribe I began, but she cut me off in mid-sentence.
“There’s a reason for everything, there are no mysteries in life,” this wise old woman said.
I started leafing through the papers which by now I’m familiar with since I am attempting to sort through the multiplicity of drug plans, with different premiums, co-pays, deductibles and formularies for my own mother. The complexity is mind numbing and for anyone requiring prescription medication, it is also very frightening.
My 94-year-old neighbor understood exactly why many seniors will likely (and sadly) forfeit these benefits until understandable and trustworthy legislation is passed.
I think the key concept here, is drug coverage that they have faith in and can trust.
Here’s what she said. “It’s impossible to trust anything coming from Washington, these days. The scandals, they never tell the truth anymore. Everyone lies. If they were serious, if they wanted to really help us out, this would be easy to figure out. They think we’re stupid or desperate, I know what’s going on. These people can’t be trusted. I’ve lived without drug money for 94 years, I’m just going to go to the pharmacy and buy what I need, I hope when you’re my age, they won’t do this to you.”
Shame on you, Mr. Bush. Shame on you for trying to put one over on America’s elderly. They’re on to you and they vote. Boy do they vote. Thank God they vote.
African-Americans believe Mr. Bush hates them. I have news for Mr. Bush, senior citizens believe he hates them, as well. Seniors are going to show up at the polls and teach him a lesson he’ll never forget next November 2nd.