Letters to the Editor

We should share our good fortune

Regarding the House’s passage of the Health Care bill: Hooray! At last we are poised on the brink of joining the ranks of all the other industrialized nations in the assumption that basic health care, like education, is a right of its citizens, not a privilege.

Many of those who have been stirred into a frenzy of fear about “socialized medicine” are already enjoying its benefits in the form of Medicare and other government-sponsored programs, such as the health care provided to members of the military and their dependents. One might argue that the latter earned theirs, though the sacrifices demanded by those in the military have varied enormously through the years.

But those of us 65 and over provided no special service to our country to gain our privileged access to health care. All we’ve done is to live to or beyond that magic age. Without Medicare, many of us would be bankrupt, would have had our homes foreclosed, would be unable to pursue our active lives, or would be dead -- like millions of uninsured or underinsured people in this country under 65.

Both Social Security and Medicare were instituted at a time when relatively few people lived beyond 65; you might say we are overstaying our welcome.

To object to others sharing our undeserved good fortune scarcely seems appropriate for members of “the Greatest Generation.”

Ann Gerike


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