Roger Ebert, famous film reviewer and also a cancer patient, thinks we should enact universal health care because it is morally right. Bill Moyers, 75, is devoting his acclaimed Journal to examining health care reform. And I, in the shadow of giants, have spent the summer immersed in advocacy for health care reform. Ebert, Moyers, and I have one thing in common: we are all on Medicare. Our health care is assured.
There is truly a generational divide on the issue of health care reform. Those of us who, through advancing age have been forced to connect with the health care system, are agitating for reform. Is it for ourselves? No way. We are already on the public plan. We have no reason to fight. But we’re doing it because we have children and grandchildren, relatives and friends, and we are all part of America.
On my Facebook wall, people keep writing that they don’t want the government running health care, that they don’t think they need health insurance, that they can go it on their own.
All I can say is, they’ve never been ill — which is wonderful. But bound to come to an end. And it’s not until you, or a family member, are sick, that you understand why this is such an important issue.
Who understands? Veterans. Elderly people. People with disabilities and chronic conditions. People with sick children, or with HIV. People forced to contact the system.
The rest of you, Obama’s liberal children and conservatives who fear government intervention can sit out this fight, because we are going to get health care reform for you. Not so much for ourselves, because we are on, or nearly on, Medicare. We will be okay. It’s you who may suffer.
Fortunately, there are a lot of us. It’s very difficult to be a Boomer or older and be against health care reform, because you may have ten years until you can limp over the finish line to Medicare, and those will be ten years of very expensive insurance– even if you work for a large corporation. Unfortunately, the sheer demographic impact of an aging population will drive up premiums as well as costs. And during that time, you may find yourself uninsurable if things go on the way they are now.