Wow! One evening last week I had a conversation with a retiree who seems to have some strange notions as to what the national health-care reform debate is all about.
Regarding the final directive portion of the bill, he thinks he will be forced to have end-of-life counseling -- rather than, as it is, requiring that insurance pay a doctor if he wants to have that conversation. He thinks the uninsured are just too cheap to buy insurance, not realizing that there are millions of people who would buy insurance if a) the insurance company wouldn't turn them down, and b) the premiums were not so exorbitant as to make one choose between food and shelter and paying those premiums.
When I countered with the argument that the proposed law appears to require companies to sell to all and that the government may come up with a competing concern a la the post office, he said that this would be socialized medicine and that we have gotten along fine without it in the past. I asked him what he thought Medicare was -- and finally we agreed on something: Medicare already is government-run health care, which has a myriad of insurance companies thronging to complement it with highly profitable supplements.
No wonder there is such an uproar when confusion like I described is promoted among our most vulnerable citizens.
FRED N. BUSH