A Humorous Look at Medicare, Medicaid and Obamacare

Steven Fromholz, singer, songwriter, Texas Poet Laureate Emeritus and Senior Citizen (sans dentures) clowning for the camera; now that takes courage!         Photo by George Brainard, Austin, TX.
Steven Fromholz, singer, songwriter, Texas Poet Laureate Emeritus and Senior Citizen (sans dentures) clowning for the camera; now that takes courage! Photo by George Brainard, Austin, TX.

Medicare? Hello, Easy Money!

Amidst the angst and confusion of the Healthcare Bill (Obamacare),so cherished by the Democrats, damned by the Republicans and viewed by most Americans as confusing, expensive and ultimately unrealistic; a sense of humor is helpful to most folks and imperative to Senior Citizens.

Senior Citizen recipients of Medicare, Medicaid or both, are in no way confused about the shortcomings of those programs as they stand today. They are, however, known, tried and “workable” with a few common sense “tweaks” here and there. Unfortunately, there seem to be no “tweakers” in Washington; only those that would throw out the baby with the bathwater.

No matter one’s attitude in the “for” or “against” polls on Obamacare, a sense of humor makes the entire matter more palatable and far less frustrating while the subject's still debatable but oh so close to set in stone. Being of the Senior persuasion, and prone to caustic humor, the following are recent examples of personal experience with the system that’s now in place:

It happened again today! "Well, my dear, you're not getting any younger, you know, and after one reaches 75 years old...well, it does make a difference!" I'm in my doctor's office for my 10 minute conference, after waiting over an hour to get in to see him, and spending another hour waiting in the examination room. I've spent two hours waiting to be patronized?

Perhaps, after blowing out the candles on the 60th birthday cake, one should just attribute everything to age and be done with it because that's what the medical community does. I, personally, enjoy living and foolish as I may be, still believe medical science means me, too! With Medicare card in hand I'm a most welcome patron in my doctor's office but get little interest. I expect any day to walk in and the receptionist will say, "Hey, Easy Money, how you doing?"

Do Aches & Pains Count?

Do I have a debilitating illness? No! I have a few aches and pains -- as "old" people do -- but I never, NEVER, mention those things to the age-conscious doctor. (Even idiots instinctively know that age brings on a bit of discomfort now and then and falling down after 50 is a "no-no!")

As a Type II Diabetic, subscribing only to herbals (of which the doctor disapproves), diet and exercise; I’m categorized as “less than cooperative and downright stubborn.” It’s my contention that if it ain’t broke; don’t try to fix it! Herbals are expensive and medical doctors won't prescribe them. As doctors view herbals, and all self-medication, with a jaundiced eye, they aren't paid for under Medicare Part D. As I have to pay for my own medication, maintain a diet that's a budget buster and am rarely ill; why spend the government's money to be told I'm just old and go ahead and handle it myself?

I'm active, trail ride and work three days weekly. Friends occasionally take me out to dinner without being too embarrassed by my appearance and there's still a few old guys out there that think I'm a decent date. I often carry on reasonably intelligent conversation and have not, as yet, resigned from the living, breathing, human race. The medical community, however, seems to have put my file in a box marked "Old But Has Medicare Card - So Make Nice."

If All Else Fails. . . Break a Bone or Two!

The most "interested" medical attention I've ever received, was on my 65th birthday, due to a horse wreck. I quite obviously cut an elbow and rearranged a pinky finger. I was riding a new mare when she unexpectedly went nuts. I managed to "cowboy" pretty good until we reached a fairly cacti-free area and then deliberately bailed off. Thankfully, it was not my first rodeo!

The landing wasn't all that bad and I caught the mare, walked a half-mile back to the barn, leading the horse, and unsaddled. Once in the house, I pulled the finger in place and splinted it and although pretty sure I'd pulled a groin muscle; one can't do much about that.

The next morning, after a miserable night, common sense prevailed; I phoned my son, and off to the doctor we went. After x-rays the medical guru told my son I'd broken my pelvis in two places, my pinky finger at the joint and stitches in the elbow would be prudent BUT if I walked home, unsaddled the horse and waited overnight to see a doctor; I'd probably do fine with just a pair of crutches. I was convinced the guy also believed, although he didn’t verbalize it, that I’d been rendered deaf and dumb by the fall as he never once addressed me directly but conversed only with my son.

Medicare is definitely still alive and working as I was able to see an ER doctor immediately for a period of perhaps 20 minutes that day. A good part of which was spent waiting on my crutches to arrive from another floor of the hospital. The subsequent bill, however, was an entirely different story and in no way indicative of less than major surgery, the use of life saving devices and the services of a trauma team. In a nutshell, those crutches cost a bundle.

There’s the “tweaking” part, dear hearts! That’s why Medicare and Medicaid are gasping for breath and the powers that be in Washington want to start over from scratch. Why can’t we fix what we’ve got, which would bring down costs, and allow more and better coverage for all that are eligible to participate?

The Best Medical Care For All?

It’s difficult to believe there’s any among us that don’t want the best medical care possible for every citizen in these United States. It’s not, however, a bit difficult to understand that U.S. citizens don’t want to pay for the health and well being of non-citizens. Thankfully, most third world countries don‘t appear to be included in the proposed healthcare bill -- yet! Truth is -- they don't have to be included. They'll just continue to go to the ER for whatever ails 'em and hospitals have to treat them -- and deliver their babies!

It also crosses one’s mind that perhaps prisons in this country should begin formulating a “health plan” for prisoners. They, too, need healthcare -- as prescribed by law under Obamacare and although the citizenry of this country has paid for healthcare for prisoners for a gadzillion years -- how 'bout them taking care of that (or their families do it for them?) You know, that "equality thing" for all?

On the bright side, if the uninsured are incarcerated (although I don't believe this is cited as one of the penalties for not having health insurance under Obamacare) prison for the uninsured will solve part of the unemployment, housing and traffic problems for the legally insured. It will not, however, solve global warming or prevent unplanned pregnancies. The whole thing, as pappy used to say, is a “turkey shoot” at best. A recognized career hazard to elected politician’s; the moment’s rapidly approaching they're all going to have to fish or cut bait.

As for Medicare, Medicaid and health care, as it now stands for Senior Citizens; perhaps getting the doctor’s genuine interest would be a good first step in improving those services. Admittedly, Geriatric medicine can't be all that exciting to doctors but it's an income producing dude many seem to practice by rote!

Having personally given that a lot of thought I’ve decided a "shock maneuver" might go a long way toward getting my disinterested doctor's undivided attention. I've just made an appointment for next week at which time I intend to announce I'm pregnant! Head’s up Ripley’s Believe It Or Not!

Comments 14 comments

tejastornado 7 years ago

Pure Angela......at her best.......You keep going girl...Jan


Angela Blair profile image

Angela Blair 7 years ago from Central Texas Author

Thanks so much, Jan!


Sheryl (again) 6 years ago

Lol..it is not just age bias, on Monday I bought a new car..Tom didn't even go with me because the last time we bought a car,actually I bought a car, I had to go to Dallas from Corpus Christi to find a woman car salesman because...even when Tom told the others to talk to me, they still acted like I wasn't there...this was over 10 years ago and I am still PO'd about it.


Angela Blair profile image

Angela Blair 6 years ago from Central Texas Author

I can relate to that & would still be mad, too! Thanks for your comments - Sis


phdast7 profile image

phdast7 4 years ago from Atlanta, Georgia

Great Hub. Well-written, funny, and on point. I am approaching the 60 mark myself. When I am finally covered by Medicare, I will remember your shock advice and occasionally mention to my doctors that I think I am pregnant. :) Voted Up and Awesome and SHARING


suzettenaples profile image

suzettenaples 4 years ago from Taos, NM

This would be funny if it wasn't so sadly true. Other countries seem to be able to take care of their citizens with government health programs, but not the U.S. I agree with you 100%. All Washington needs to do is fix Medicare and Medicaid and offer it to everyone and be done with it. Yes, we may need to pay more taxes, but I would not have a problem with that if everyone was covered. This everyone must purchase health insurance is ridiculous. There will always be those that refuse to do that, because we can't force people to purchase something they don't want to purchase. What happens when these people have a catastrophic health problem and no insurance. It is paid for anyway by those of us who already have health insurance. I've seen this so many times when my father was in the hospital. Because he had good health insurance, the doctors and nurses took products from his room and put benign things like aspirin and kleenex on his chart and bill to pay for those who had no insurance to cover it. So, whether we have a national governnment health insurance program or what we have now, we all end up paying for those with no health insurance anyway. Let's be honest about it and just tax everyone, then everyone is paid for.

I am glad to hear, fortunately for you, that you don't have any serious, life-threatening or catastrophic health issues.


Angela Blair profile image

Angela Blair 4 years ago from Central Texas Author

PHdast7 -- we got to keep the docs on their feet and seems to me pregnancy is the only thing they haven't yet attributed to my age! Appreciate you commenting -- thanks! Best/Sis


Angela Blair profile image

Angela Blair 4 years ago from Central Texas Author

Hi Suzette -- the whole Medicare/Madicaid thingy is a huge mess -- and Obamacare isn't going to make it any better just cover more folks -- guess we'll see what the Supreme Court says on the subject (and have to live with it if we don't like it). Oh, well, we've had Obama so it won't be a new thing. Thanks so much for your comments -- I, too have been there for the type things they billed to your dad -- same thing to my mom! Best/Sis


dahoglund profile image

dahoglund 4 years ago from Wisconsin Rapids

Hi Sis, you have much more rugged activity than I do. Ifeel I am doing well to walk the dog a couple of miles a day. As far a medicare is concerned I am only on it becausse the government ran out of people to pay into and don't think about have to pay out again. I was a governmetn employee who was not under social security. One day I saw a deduction on my pay. I found it was for my medicare. Somehow, we were under medicare and nobody told us about it. It was fortunate because when I later had cancer and chemotherapy and my copayment was an amount for each treatment that hurt more than the chemo did. Then I turned 62 and medicare kicked in. So I have mixed feeling s about it.


Angela Blair profile image

Angela Blair 4 years ago from Central Texas Author

dahoglund -- we agree, my friend -- I think mixed feelings abound among us on the receiving end. Thanks so very much for reading and commenting -- always good to hear from you. Best/Sis


Bibowen profile image

Bibowen 3 years ago

Thanks for the heads up....I'm not there yet, but will be there soon enough. Just think, it's worse in Canada. Voted up and best wishes.


Angela Blair profile image

Angela Blair 3 years ago from Central Texas Author

Bibowen -- thanks for commenting. Can't even contemplate how bad it is in Canada -- Best/Sis


BigEd5857 profile image

BigEd5857 22 months ago

Ms. Blair, it is do wonderful to see you are still "Hubbing". So sorry to hear of your brothers passing. I have been absent for about two years and came searching for you and Fred (Ghost) and was so pleased to see you are still active here. I am going to go purchase the book you and Steven wrote. I tried before but couldn't get it done. God bless and keep you and keep on entertaining beautiful lady.

Sincerely,

Big Ed


Angela Blair profile image

Angela Blair 22 months ago from Central Texas Author

Thanks, Ed -- so good to hear from you -- by the way, there'll be a new book out very soon! Bestest/Sis

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