Today is the eve of the 2018 mid-term elections. Everyone is all lathered up, except for those who are not. Networks are devoting full time to panels speculating about voter turnout, blue waves and red backlashes. Reporters in the field are interviewing folks on the street. Some are interviewing young adults who look up from their iphones, reluctant to express and opinion if they have one. Some interviewing old white men afraid of caravans and what this country has come to. Excited explainers in white shirts with sleeves rolled up stand before maps describing the intricacies of precincts, voter profiles, and party leanings. They occasionally flash to a schemata of congressional seats reminding us of how many it will take to flip the house or senate. Like we didn’t know already.
Dark ads funded by PACS proclaim how all hell will break lose if you vote for so and so, who, by the way, is a spawn of Satan. If you vote for so and so, he or she will force a government take over of health care, limit your choices, usher in socialized medicine, raise your taxes exponentially, and put your life in the hands of bureaucrats. You will die. If you vote for the other so and so he or she promises to cover your pre-existing condition, but doesn’t say how. You will die. Egad. What is they say about inevitability? Taxes and death.
Pause now for a moment of truth. Single payer does not mean an end to private insurance health care. Proof: Medicare. Take it from me as someone on Medicare, there are a plethora of choices. Flash seminar: There are 4 parts to Medicare, A B C & D. If eligible you can chose to stay on traditional Medicare, which will pay for hospital costs under A, and doctors under B. You can also get drug coverage under D. Or, if you want to be covered by a private HMO, they will be happy to get your business as evidenced by the fact I’ve been carpet bombed by solicitations of insurance companies who want me to enroll during the option period. They are companies offering what is called Medicare Advantage under part C. You can also buy Medigap insurance to cover what traditional Medicare does not. All of this is covered under a single payer program. I know, all this is more than you ever wanted to know. End of seminar. You’re welcome.
The president is ginning up fear by pointing to the caravan coming up from Central America through Mexico. He is sending up to 15,000 troops to the border to stop what he contends to be gang members, drug dealers, middle easterners, criminals and rapists from invading our country. He is also promising to end birth right citizenship guaranteed by the 14thAmendment by executive order. I’m sure he has been told he has no authority to unilaterally amend the constitution, but I guess he doesn’t care because it plays well to his crowds. In contrast to his characterization of the migrants, what I saw was a picture of a young father wearing flip flops pushing his child in a stroller along the highway. Seems to me we need a sensible green card process that allows people to legally enter and work in this country. We need the workers. I believe something like that passed the senate a while back but it died because it was not brought to the floor of the House.
Political junkie that I am, I will be watching the talking and shouting heads later today on TV. The theme will be either there is a blue wave of Democrats coming, or not so fast, remember 2016, and don’t count out the Republicans quite yet. It is all grand theater, but I am anxiously awaiting the real drama as it unfolds tomorrow night and into the next day. Tomorrow I will put my grain of sand on the scale of the election and go vote. We’ll see how that works out. Either way it will be good to end the political ads, the lies, the distortions, and the rancor. That is, until next time.