Editor's Column: Democrats mess up our retirement plan
By JIM LARSEN
Whidbey News Times Editor
March 23, 2010 · Updated 2:31 PM
Thanks, Big Government Democrats. Now you’ve totally messed up the retirement plan my wife and I have been working on all these years.
We’ve always expected that at some point, the cost of health care would drive us out of our house onto the streets. Oh, we’re fine for now. We’ve got a job that comes with insurance and affordable co-pays. But we’re getting older, we’ve got a few pre-existing conditions, and while the job looks secure, you never know in today’s economy. If the job goes so does the insurance, so we’ve been planning ahead.
We figured that inevitably we’d have no insurance and someone would get sick. At today’s rates, a week in the hospital would mortgage our house to the hilt, and another week would wipe out our savings. Depending on the disease, of course. If it’s a serious heart problem we could be broke in just one or two uninsured operations; if it’s a menacing skin condition we might hold out for several weeks. But we would inevitable be busted after a lifetime of saving and not giving ourselves anything real nice.
So in recent years we’ve been looking at the bright side of being homeless, scrutinizing the street people when we go to Seattle. Most of them look pretty well fed, they own several layers of clothing, and many use actual tents or a semblance thereof to spend the night, giving them some privacy in the teeming city. A few even sleep in the comfort of their own cars.
We’ve got a tent, we’ve got sleeping bags, we’ve got a car, lots of canned food and a Coleman cook stove, so we’re ready for post-illness retirement. We can sleep in the car or in the tent, depending on the weather, and supplement our canned food supplies with handouts available from charities. We’d camp near the hospitals on Pill Hill, so for health care we could stagger into any of a number of emergency rooms.
Being homeless wasn’t such a bad plan. No lawn to mow, no relatives who show up when the house is messy, no more property taxes to pay, no monthly tribute to Comcast or PSE, no worrying about the water bill or the roof that needs to be replaced. Just the two of us, snuggled up in the car or tent for warmth, waiting for the next free meal. Heck, we could spend the night in a shelter and maybe take a shower a few times a month.
It was going to be a simple retirement meant for two principled Americans, but now that dream is gone. The darned Democrats passed health care legislation Sunday over adamant opposition from conservative-leaning individuals such as ourselves, who believe it’s the American Way to not ask for help. If we can’t make it then it’s our own fault and we deserve the retirement we’ve been expecting all along.
But now, we can’t lose our health insurance: If we lose our job and can’t afford it the government will help us out; and the insurance companies can’t refuse us due to pre-existing conditions. In short, our retirement plan is ruined.
It looks like those blankety-blank Democrats did it again, interfering with the American Way. We can’t wait until November so we can sh ow them exactly what we think of them.Contact Whidbey News Times Editor Jim Larsen at firstname.lastname@example.org or 1-360-675-6611 (ext 5050).