Imagine for a moment  that you are poor…really poor.  You read in the paper that the gang in Washington is going to cut Medicare benefits and make you pay more…money you don’t have.  What is your reaction?  Fear would be understandable.  Possibly even anger.

Imagine for a moment that you live in the most affluent neighborhood in your town.  You are really rich.  Seriously rich.  You read in the paper that the gang in Washington is going to cut Medicare  benefits and make you pay more….money you have.  What is your reaction?  It might surprise you to know that the anger from the wealthy Medicare beneficiary would dwarf the fear of the poor person in the first example.

One of the most disgusting things I have ever experienced in my 20 years of anesthesia practice is the intense entitlement attitude…..of the ultra-rich.  The entitlement mentality is bad enough.  But when someone whose net worth is 10,000 times what  I could earn in a lifetime demands that I provide them free medical care (Medicare) I must admit to shock.

I hope that there are enough elderly folks who want an alternative to Medicare.  I am afraid though that the elderly will dig in and lobby hard  so that “no one touches my Medicare!”  All that the elderly will understand, I’m afraid, is rationing and denial of care….only then will they demand an alternative.  This is, I’m afraid, what the elderly are facing, just as the Canadians are dealing with it now.

Time for the elderly to let their children and grandchildren off the hook.  Time for the elderly Medicare beneficiary to let these spineless politicians off the hook and demand an end to this  and other Ponzi schemes from which they benefit.

G. Keith Smith, M.D.