Welcome to Varied Expressions of Worship

Welcome to Varied Expressions of Worship

This blog will be written from an orthodox Christian point of view. There may be some topic that is out of bounds, but at present I don't know what it will be. Politics is a part of life. Theology and philosophy are disciplines that we all participate in even if we don't think so. The Bible has a lot to say about economics. How about self defense? Is war ethical? Think of all the things that someone tells you we should not touch and let's give it a try. Everything that is a part of life should be an expression of worship.

Keep it courteous and be kind to those less blessed than you, but by all means don't worry about agreeing. We learn more when we get backed into a corner.

Saturday, January 25, 2020

Opus 2020-021: Yes, in My Back Yard

My wife tells me that we got a slight increase in our Social Security but that the increase in cost for the prescription plan D leveled the field again.  She then expressed hopes that Trump would be able to do something about it.

I am not sure that I want him to “do something about it”.  Usually what we mean when we want a political leader to “do something about it” is to give us free stuff.  We are all happy to talk about reforming Medicare and getting a handle on the federal deficit.  Conservatives are quick to mock the Democrats campaigning for president about their offers of free stuff.  We are not so happy when we are faced with being part of the solution.  We would prefer to be part of the problem.

Some of the solutions could be achieved if we just had honest government.  Yes, I know.  Oxymoron.  Social Security is not in trouble because it is a bad idea.  It is in trouble because it became a political foot ball and sugar daddy.  Politicians have been raiding social security to balance the budget and pay for their dream programs ever since it started.  They have been adding people to the payout that never paid in.  They have expanded coverage in totally irresponsible ways.  As a result they talk about it becoming insolvent at some date in the future.  The solution is easy.  Pay back what the Feds borrowed with honest interest.  Cut off people who never made a fair contribution.  Invest funds that come in.  Things would get workable fast.

Medicare is a bit of a different animal.  We need to look at it as insurance not as a bribe to seniors.  We also need to get over the idea that Cadillac health care is a right.  Like anything else in life, health care costs money.  Doctors, nurses and lab techs don’t volunteer their time after they get off their day job at McDonald’s.  Someone needs to pay.  We seniors want someone else to do the paying.  I remember when my mother went through expensive cancer treatment with a lot of medications.  I asked the pharmacist how she was able to afford all the cutting edge drugs.  He said she had bought the supplemental coverage.  In other words, she paid for it.  And she did it on very limited income.  Of course she did not take cruises or buy fancy jewelry.  She lived frugally, but she lived well enough to have the family over for holidays and still have everything she needed. 

For us Medicare has worked well so far.  We may hit a wall someday but when we set up our coverage my wife paid for what she wanted.  I think we pay more.  We do that so we get more.  It is called insurance, not welfare.  Will costs go up?  Probably.  That will be double true if we continue to give people what they have not been willing to pay for.

We can have a basic safety net.  I would say that anything that can be provided at your average urgent care is within the realm of a right.  We are a wealthy country and we can afford to take care of people with general illnesses.  What would not be a right would be things like I have, a pacemaker or the expensive blood thinning drug I am taking.  I could get an old fashioned blood thinner for a lot less but it would be less convenient.  You should not have to pay for my convenience.

In time, once the stupidity is worked out of the system, we might be able to expand the basic services.  Will people suffer?  I am sure they will but society cannot make up for people who have made repeated bad decisions. 

We all agree that something must be done.  Each of us needs to accept our share of the doing.

homo unius libri

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Comments are welcome. Feel free to agree or disagree but keep it clean, courteous and short. I heard some shorthand on a podcast: TLDR, Too long, didn't read.