Let's Prehend
A Manual of Human Ecology and Culture Design

OVER 65, A New Role for the Elders

It's great to graduate to age sixty five. Seniors get all sorts of medical attention at government expense, rationed though it may be by those HMOs' CGMs. With the failure of California's Prop 186, the HMOs approved almost anything, even superficial stuff that only makes one comfortable. But the screw tightened as medical reform fades into history, fixated by a bevy of insurance interests.

The U. S. government pays about four hundred a month per head, `capitation', for the insurance companies to take care of a senior. Whatever the HMO spends on seniors' medical care is off the top, down the drain. An array of clerks at the phone lets the nurses' aide tell the doctors what is allowed under the contract. That contract is available on a CD-ROM, no less. So, as the company wants to improve their profits, their lawyers and insurance brains just send the word down to the phone clerks to put on the screws.

Under the fading fee-for-service system, most oldsters are kept alive and suffering as long as possible, tortured with expensive and agonizing treatments. Oldsters under such treatment suffer from this tortuous punishment, commonly called `accepted medical practice'. Under such torture, their good nature, their empathy, their responsibility, their love of mankind, so deteriorates that many are driven to vote Republican.

Throughout human history up to the recent period, elders were the carriers of the culture, crucial to the transmission of values and maturity. But now most elders are displaced with mad media and zombie TV. Oldsters are ostracized by the rest of the culture, rejected, isolated and obliged to spend their declining years in lonely isolation or smelly care facilities. Oldsters are rarely gainfully employed and usually spend their time getting depressed and indulging their various aches and pains. Most oldsters, not all, spend their last days in discomfort and depression.

But the government's got it all wrong: free medical care should be for those under sixty five, not older. Isn't it absurd that the oldsters get free medical indulgences while the youngsters are poorly attended, if at all. Seen from a power politics point of view, it's embarrassing that oldsters would force legislation to indulge themselves, then make the youngsters pay for it.

The new rule should be free medical care for the youngsters (those up to sixty five) and free herbs for the oldsters. Why not let the youngsters be properly taken care of so they might lead long and productive lives while oldsters spend our declining years in busy pain-free ecstasy. For the oldsters, Herbs for depression, cocaine is the classic treatment, and for aches and pains, opium. It seems a shame that these wonderful herbs are wasted on the young. Of course, tobacco and alcohol should be eliminated because of their inhuman toxicity.

The good stuff should be distributed through the senior centers. Oldsters know how to handle themselves, but anyone under sixty five is of questionable maturity and anyone under fifty is pathetically inexperienced. Youngsters are safe, they wouldn't be caught dead hanging out around these places, so the chance of their abusing this free medication are very slight. The medical profession need not be involved, except for an occasional laboratory quality control. Instead, the law enforcement personnel, who are awash with the stuff, would simply recycle it to the senior centers.

The November 1994 election saw the California voters reject Proposition 186, the "Single-Payer Health Care" amendment. This would have provided health care for every citizen in a non-socialized medical system, like Canada's. Only the insurance companies' share of medical care would have been socialized. That could have cut of about a quarter of the medical expenses in the state, probably more than enough to pay for all those who now lack medical care. Perhaps those with adequate medical care through wealth or medical insurance are willing to pay a little extra to prevent the poor from getting medical care for little or nothing.

The present system gives medical care to the elderly while the young are poorly attended, a system that is shameful, short-sighted, selfish, greedy, malicious, absurd and insane.

< NOTAM, Notes On The Anthropology of Medicine Chapters   Essays HIRISE, Cities are Obsolete >
Copyright © 2021 Earl Williamson. All rights reserved. Feedback Last updated Monday, April 9, 2018 05:43 UTC