Right off the bat, I was not all that keen on hearing what President George had to say. We were all set for an evening of our favorite network TV shows--Survivor Palau followed by a new CSI and the president's press conference put all that off by an hour. We did get to see Survivor (Sorry to see Stefanie go) but we're old and have to get up early and fall asleep at 10 o'clock, so CSI was a washout. Now we'll have to wait to see it on re-runs.
I've known for years that Social Security is essentially a Ponzi scheme. For years people have been saying that there won't be anything left when the people of my generation retire, which we're starting to do now.
I believe that Social Security is not as pressing a problem as the president makes it out to be and his solutions will cause more harm than good. Invest your payroll taxes in the stock market? How many of us saw our rock solid 401Ks tank four years ago?
What concerns me the most about retirement is not the piddly little check I'll get from the government every month. It's Medicare.
I'm in great health now, a couple months shy of my 49th birthday. And if anything should happen, I've got excellent insurance coverage through my husband's Blue Cross insurance policy, provided by his employer General Electric. However, in 16 years I will have to use Medicare as my primary insurer. More and more employers are discontinuing health coverage to their retirees so it's more than likely my husband and I will have to take out our own insurance.
We all know as we grow old, our bits start to wear out. Heart failure, cataracts, strokes, diabetes, high blood pressure, that's all a distinct possibility once you get past 65. Insurance companies know that and charge accordingly.
When faced with providing health care for a huge chunk of the population, Medicare payments are now so low that many doctors are refusing to take Medicare patients. And what does Congress do? They pass a Medicare Drug benefit that will suck out even more money from the program.
When I'm 73, with some manageable type of chronic ailment that Medicare won't cover, I've got my own solution. I'll go to Washington and camp out by my Congress person's office door, wasting away as the cameras roll. And maybe I'll bring along a few sick friends as well.
Maybe then, they'll realize there's more to the Culture of Life than one woman's feeding tube.