Several years ago my husband’s best friend gave him a poster that we have had hung in our entryway ever since. “For the DETERMINED,” it reads, “There is time and OPPORTUNITY.” It has a silhouette of a fly fisherman, and it answered the complaint that there was never enough time to go fishing.
When we are determined, we create the opportunity. Despite the demands on time and energy, we can always carve out pieces to expend on those things we truly want to do. It is only in recent years that I have realized the necessity of the combination of the two resources. If both are not available in conjunction, there is no possibility of attaining the desired goal. I have also found that it is far more frustrating to have energy without time than the other way. Probably, because it is hard to get worked up without the energy component, and fairly easy to squander time.
Early morning, before the rest of the household awakes, has always been my time to make opportunity. There was a segment of life that I devoted it to running or biking, because I could safely leave my sleeping children in the house before my husband left for work, and there would not be another time during the day that they could be left.
It has become my time to write, one of the creative highs of my energy sine curve. I can work on articles or get a first draft of my blog knocked out in that quiet ‘me’ time. However, especially where the blog is concerned, there are things that interfere.
Due to the category in which I write, Outdoors, most of my interests can be explored. However, there is another part of me that is highly involved in the political sphere. I have managed to keep those subjects separated, although in some instances it means that I have things that must be written, but do not get published here.
When I spend my early morning writing time interacting on social media, my blogs do not get written. However, if, as today, I find that I have composed multiple replies that are in truth one big reply, it seems a shame for the thoughts to disappear into the miasma of the internet. Therefore, I decided to capture my responses to my friend, and use them here. I copyed and pasted the many replies, then deleted them from his page. They served as the beginning of this piece.
As soon as the Affordable Care Act was passed so we could see what was in it the genius of Ezekial Emmanuel was revealed. If you looked at the problems in the US at that point in time, there were two striking features of our economy. One was the disaster that had occurred through government meddling in the home mortgage business resulting in the collapse of a major segment of the entire banking industry. The second was the massive bubble of humanity heading towards retirement.
As someone on the forward wave of the Baby Boomers, I can attest that this enormous swell of population had a deleterious effect, first, on education. For several years my class would enter a school (various school districts because I was a navy brat) that had no room for us. We were housed in quonset huts in Hawaii, closets or trailers on the mainland. We were a tremendous problem.
Eight years ago the inhabitants of that bubble were nearing the end of their working lives and entering the deterioration part of their health. We, who had dutifully paid for insurance we rarely needed, were now a bunch of bodies needing care. Eyes, ears, hips, knees, brains…
And, evil genius Ezekial not only saw the two situations clearly as did I, but also was willing to tackle them in the logical but heartless way they suggested. Two birds with one stone. Get rid of the old people. Stop that drain on society, and the money that would have been spent on fixing up those old bodies could be redirected to the budget in other ways to shore up the catastrophe of the Great Recession (which was never allowed to be called a Depression.)
Death Panels? You betcha.They were not so-called, but there was a phrase that jumped off the page at me, never to be dislodged: “Units over 70.” The particular item that seared the phrase into my brain was that those units would not be given neurological care. So much for Alzheimer’s and other dementias, Parkinson’s, Multiple Sclerosis, ALS…no treatment for the elderly. Which only trickles down farther and farther into no treatment for those of any age who are not productive members of society.
Rather, we have Palliative Care. Be comfortable, no pain…and let’s up that dosage on a regular basis so that a walking, talking ex-boxer can say and wave goodbye publicly at the beginning of a weekend, enter a facility, and be pronounced dead within a couple of days. That is not ‘care.’ That is murder. But, a kind of murder to which we are being enurred. We are letting our fellow citizens go quietly into that night.
We have been told repeatedly, that it is kind and loving to eliminate pain. We believe that. I believe that, personally. However, the elimination of pain is not the only method of dealing with medical issues. Quality of life counseling is a way of convincing some of both the elderly and severely disabled young to simply accept dying as a release for themselves and their families. Even those elderly with a strong, vibrant life-force can be, and have been, denied treatments that would prolong a meaningful life.
The recent Veterans’ Administration scandal has shown what happens when appropriate care is withheld. People died, waiting for their appointments. The root cause is more than a callous cadre of administrators. The root cause is supply and demand. There was not an adequate supply of medical professionals and facilities to meet the demands of the growing number of veterans requiring care.
Health care is provided by people, be they doctors or pharmaceutical companies or hospitals. People and products have costs, and, unless those costs are met, the people and products will not be available. Someone must pay the cost, be it an individual, a company, or a country. Regardless of who is paying, there will always be limits on availability. Then, decisions on who will receive care will be made. The farther away from the patient that his care is decided, the harsher and less malleable those decisions will be.
As a society we must face the things we are instituting, no matter how difficult a close examination might be. We have a duty to protect the most vulnerable among us.