Medicare, OxyContin and other addictions

Yesterday, during the steady rain that we endured while everyone else on the East Coast was getting buried with snow, I was sitting at my keyboard catching up on 'stuff'. The TV was on and I clicked away from Fox News just after the post-mortems on the Senate Health Care Reform cloture vote. Two channels down from FNC on DirecTV is Current, Al Gore's channel. There was a piece playing about Hillbilly Heroin, or OxyContin and the drug trade between Florida and middle America to supply this wildly addicting drug.

This situation with 'OC' is very sad. Most of the people caught up with the addiction (and the illegal trade to feed it), by their own admission, did not want to get involved. But, like many things in life, crap occurs. In fact, the sherrif of the Kentucky county where the report was shot, said that everyone in his county was touched by OC in some way. No one was immune from the influence.

Today, I watched Meet the Press and Fox News Sunday. As the questions flew and Senators spinned their answers, I was trying to sort things out about what was really what. Those of you who have read some of my previous postings know that The-Asterisk doesn't support HCR as currently being shoved through Congress, but I totally support radical repair of our terribly broken system. The system that is a patchwork on top of a patchwork of regulation and government meddling. How any system under constant government oversight can even operate after 50+ years of 'help' is an amazing feat.

Someone on the left chimed in that when Medicare/Medicaid was being debated in 1964, only 28% of Americans supported it, but now 96% fully support the program. I would bet that if you went to Greenup, Kentucky 20 years ago and asked the population if they thought that getting addicted to OxyContin was a good idea that the answer would have been 0% affirmative. Now, look at the situation. Probably 75% of the people there would say that they want more OC.

I don't have the statistics to back this belief, but I am pretty sure that there are virtually no affordable non-government health insurance plans available for seniors above the age of 65 years. I am not talking about supplemental plans, but basic, non-Medicare insurance. Why should there be if every person over 65 can go on Medicare? Just like flood insurance for homes, all insurance companies write policies that are subsidized and indemnified by the US Gov't. They have NO skin in the game. Does anyone think that it would be different with health insurance?

I see a parallel between Hillbilly Heroin, Medicare, and now the possibility of government-run health insurance. I believe that the reason that the liberals are so adamant about gaining the 'public option' is that, like the pushers of a new drug, they know that once the government undercuts private insurance, the private insurers will take their business elsewhere. What will that leave? Nothing but government providing all health-related reimbursement. And with the pursestrings comes ultimate control.

Call it the nose under the tent, the foot in the door, the straw that breaks the camel's back. Whatever metaphor you choose, without the public option, total control cannot be gained. And total control is THE GOAL.

There is your Asterisk!


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