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Shutdown Geezers: The Medicare
Generation’s Immoral War on Obamacare

| October 4, 2013

Jasper Johns's 'No' (1961)

Jasper Johns’s ‘No’ (1961)

The central tenet of the Affordable Care Act—health insurance for almost all—kicked in at midnight Tuesday, at the same instant that the government shutdown began. It was one of those conjunctions of American history that bleed with irony, like the time in the waning days of the Civil War when Jefferson Davis inclined to drafting slaves to fight the Confederacy’s lost cause. Opponents of Obamacare think that by doubling down on hurting Americans, they might stun them into submission. They must be stupider than they let on.

pierre tristam column flaglerlive Obamacare has its problems, and the federal government hasn’t done a good job selling it. Its implementation is another story. Obamacare has been falsely portrayed as too complicated, though mostly by people who calibrate their powers of comprehension to the grunts and growls of talk radio. Obamacare is no more complicated than shopping for your average private insurance policy, because death-panel mythologies aside, that’s mostly what it is. The so-called “insurance marketplaces,” in states lucky enough to have them (Florida is not among them) facilitate the process.

In the dark days pre-dating reform, insurers were entirely to blame for the western world’s most discriminatory, at times sadistic and always extortionary health care system. They picked what clients they wanted, denied coverage to those who needed it most, dumped those who filed costly claims, and for those on the rolls judged what care to mete out and what care to withhold, as if nameless actuarial pinheads knew better than your doctor what ailed you. That’s what’s ending, somewhat.

If there is a fundamental failing to Obamacare, it’s that insurers are still almost entirely in control.  They still get to pick who gets what and at what price, infuriating clients and using the government as their perfect foil.  The government merely sets a few standards, only slightly diminishing insurers’ rapacity for providing the fewest benefits at the most exorbitant cost. The government’s more honest baseline is that insurers may no longer cap lifetime benefits, boot out the sick or exclude those with pre-existing conditions. But clients must still navigate the private insurance market to get a policy. The complications were themselves pre-existing. Now more people get to suffer them. Except that the insurance industry gets to reap the profits while deflecting all bureaucratic frustrations on Obamacare.

Many of the problems are compounded by various states’ continuing war against reform, purposefully complicating what should have been the single greatest improvement in Americans’ peace of mind since the establishment of Medicare for the elderly in 1965.

Medicare should have been the model for reform. It’s the nation’s best and least expensive insurance program, a socialistic single-payer system that leaves individuals with all the free-market liberties to choose the kind of care they want. The government gets the bill (padded though it often is by private providers’ fraud). Medicare for all is what President Obama wanted when he started his road toward reform. But wouldn’t you know it: tea party geezers made up mostly of people on Medicare made sure that what they had would not be what the rest of the country would get. The Selfish Generation’s hypocrisy won the day, making anthems of falsehoods.

That’s not the worst surprise. Universal coverage for America’s 47 million uninsured was to be achieved in two ways. Those with incomes above a certain level were to go through the marketplace. Poorer people were to be made eligible for Medicaid. But when the United States Supreme Court ratified the Affordable Care Act, it excluded the Medicaid provision. States, the court ruled, could not be forced to expand the program. That gave opponents of the measure a fresh way to undermine it.

A quarter of Florida’s population is uninsured. That’s the second-highest proportion in the country after Texas. The federal government was ready to send $54 billion to Florida over the next 10 years to finance the Medicaid expansion. It would have picked up 100 percent of the bill for the first three years. It would then have picked up 90 percent of the bill for every year after that. Only mad men blinded by ideology and hatred for Obama would reject terms like that. So they did.

Florida became one of 25 states, including almost every state in the South, that rejected the Medicaid expansion. Almost every one of those states is controlled by Republicans.

It’s not too late. Just last month, two states that formerly opposed the expansion, Pennsylvania and Michigan, finally saw more dollar signs than tea leaves and switched sides. Even Gov. Rick Scott wanted to flip in February, but was stopped by the Legislature. Maybe he’ll try again.

Meanwhile, because of the Medicaid rejection, 1 million Floridians will remain ineligible for health insurance of any kind. They’re not poor enough for Medicaid, and too poor for the insurance marketplace. They’re not unemployed. They’re not loafers. They’re cooks, cashiers, nurses, retail store clerks, janitors, housekeepers and construction laborers. They’re the grunts who make life easier for the Selfish Generation. They’re disproportionately black and Hispanic. And they’re victims of a form of ideological bigotry that can thank Florida’s Republican legislature for holding their health hostage.

We need more than a shut-down. We need a purge.

Pierre Tristam is FlaglerLive’s editor. Reach him by email here. A version of this commentary was broadcast on WNZF and syndicated by ContextFlorida.

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56 Responses for “Shutdown Geezers: The Medicare
Generation’s Immoral War on Obamacare”

  1. A.S.F. says:

    I don’t know whether those of my generation, and the one before it, “get” that, while our numbers diminish, we will become increasingly dependent on the willingness of the generations that follow us to treat us better than we’ve treated them. The ones who need Obamacare most now will be the ones in the workforce paying our medicaid bills. The money paid into the system by those currently cashing in on Social Security and Medicare is rapidly diminishing, not only because of the sheer costliness of those bills but because the money already paid into the system had to pay for the bills generated by THEIR parents. To act with such blind and determined self-interest towards others will certainly come back to haunt us. It’s like abusive parents who expect their children to let bygones be bygones and take good care of them, despite the damage caused by their own behavior.

    • Clarisse McClellan says:

      A.S.F. That’s why they had kids in the first place. To burden them with the responsibility of taking care of them in their old age – though they don’t want to be considered old and insist on cheating death. I’m sure their children have realized it by now. It’s hard to love parents like that unless the kids are no different from the parents – they see nothing wrong with this covetous and entitled behavior. This country is run by pensioners for pensioners and to hell with everyone else.

  2. Reaganomicon says:

    Question: is there a nonpartisian, unbiased place out there on the internet that summarizes exactly what the new health care law is all about? I mean all of it, including impacts on business and the new hoops everyone will need to jump through.

  3. fruitcake says:

    Please be careful who you call the selfish generation and tea party geezers. Using a broad stroke to profile my generation is irresponsible. Most of us haven been hard working middle class citizens that have had to pay for everything we got in life plus pay for the flat ass society that grew along the way. We didn’t get any handouts. In many cases we have had to continue to work in our retirement or even put retirement off.
    “we” are victims as a result of our wonderful politicians deeds just as much as any other generation.

    • A.S.F. says:

      @fruitcake says–And what makes you think that those other people that you would like to lump together with the label of a “flat ass society” haven’t worked just as hard or sacrificed or suffered just as much (if not more) as you have? That is a pretty broad assumption on your part. What makes you think that your generation is so much more overworked and long-suffering than anyone else’s? Nobody likes to have to part with their hard-earned buck, including the generation that is now helping to support the current Medicare generation. The political elements of our government that are currently running amok are being pushed to do it by the Tea Party. They seem ruthlessly driven to run roughshod over everybody else in pursuit of their self-serving and sometimes bizarre agendas and now their actions have led to a shutdown of our entire government. Given the cost of that, in both human and fiscal terms, I would call their actions pretty damn selfish. All American citizens need and deserve the same opportunities to remain healthy and alive. I don’t think that of that goal as grasping or greedy. I think of it as humane.

    • Anita says:

      ” Most of us haven been hard working middle class citizens that have had to pay for everything we got in life …”

      Hardworking, perhaps ( the House of Representatives call themselves ‘hardworking”, too, although that is debatable). But before you go down the “I paid my own way for everything”, road let me ask you this: Did you go to public school? Whose taxes built the school, paid for the books you used and the teachers who taught you? Did you ever need the services of an Emergency Room? Who do you think paid for the doctors who treated you or the supplies they used? Do you receive Social Security, SSI, Medicare or Medicaid? Who do you suppose subsidizes these programs? What is so damned hard to understand about the fact that we are in this together and that we have, by and large, never “had to pay for everything we get in life”? Rather than a “handout” it’s a case of Americans helping Americans. What’s wrong with that? Are there some abusers of our charity? Undoubtedly. And some of us will have to supplement our S.S. and pension checks with part time jobs, but how does shrinking government and withholding taxes improve anyone’s life? Do you really think people are going to passively witness the starvation of their kids without taking matters into their own hands? Do you think that withholding funding for education will help young people provide for their families, or help us hold our place of prominence on the world stage. Already Asia and Europe are regarding this idiotic government shutdown as evidence of greater problems looming on the horizon for this country. Think about it.

  4. pc says:

    “We need more than a shut-down. We need a purge.” Agreed.

    Moderates need to get out and vote. We are begin overshadowed by extremists, most on the right, but some on the left as well. People need to vote their conscience and not their party. Let’s hope that common sense prevails during the next election.

    • rhweir says:

      Here! here! I agree, 43 years as a democrat voting the party line for me but now, I’m 100% independent. I’m voting for my wallet.

  5. Blondie says:

    With what people get paid gas prices electric bills it is no wonder more are not homeless I can hardly afford food to eat I may go to doctor 1 time a year.

  6. Ken says:

    Enough of your slander of the elderly.
    This is as offensive as any other form of bias.
    Let’s not add age warfare to the all to prevalent race warfare, religious warfare and class warfare.

    • A.S.F. says:

      @Ken says–I agree with you that there could be a disturbing element of ageism on the rise as a result of problems formenting now. All the more reason for our aging population ( of which I consider myself a member) to do a better job of relating to the struggles of those who will follow us and upon whose goodwill we, ourselves, will be increasingly dependent. It’s not just the right thing to do. It’s the smart thing to do. I literally wince every time I see pictures on the news of groups of older Americans carrying signs with images of our President with a Hitler mustache, screaming into the cameras to “GET YOUR GOVERNMENT HANDS OFF MY MEDICARE!” It makes us look stupid, selfish and crazy.

    • NortonSmitty says:

      I do not like to be called Geezer either. I much prefer the more traditional Old Fart.

  7. My Daily Rant says:

    People are just sick of stupid spending. Obama care is not put together very well.In the end its going to cost much more than people think.

    • Anita says:

      “Obama care is not put together very well.In the end its going to cost much more than people think. ”

      Considering the fact that you seem so sure of your predictions, can you supply any facts to back up your statement?

      confidential, And please don’t forget that sending jobs to other countries and putting Americans out of work and refusing to hire full-time employees puts zilch into Social Security. Where are the jobs the GOP promised?

  8. Bunnell native says:

    I have to work so hard to form a cogent thought after reading one of your columns Pierre. Not because I think you are correct and I can’t refute you, but just because I get so frustrated. That is what you seek….frustration and eventual submission from people with differing opinions. NOT gonna happen. The elderly are fighting for what they can, with what they have (which in most cases is meager). The generations following the medicare generation, including mine, have become so lazy and and immoral and indecent that they are rightly terrified. They are afraid that their progeny will desert them. Which they do, everyday. Traded in for an Iphone and hip new innovations and trends covered in filth and immorality disguised as Change. I’m 44yrs old with no insurance. Thankfully I’ve only had 1 medical issue in 25 years. I paid off that bill over a year. I couldn’t afford insurance before, I can’t afford it now, but I have to get it or face a penalty. I own a small business and pay my taxes and live a good clean life. I come on this website simply to strengthen my resolve by receiving a lecture/sermon from pompous asses about what is right and wrong. People telling me how right they are and tearing others down without walking in my shoes. You profess to fight for truth and equality but I think it only applies to those who fall in line. You can’t mask your mean-spirited nature. I’m late for work now because I used these precious minutes on you. I’m not sure that I like you, but have a nice and safe day. Enjoy MY beautiful Florida weather!

    • A.S.F. says:

      @Bunnell native says–You have gone through all that you have, without even catastrophic healthcare, and you are AGAINST IT? I don’t get that at all! You are very fortunate, indeed, to not had more than one medical issue of note in 25 years. What do you think would happen to you, or/and your family, if your luck ran out? There are, in fact, many people walking in your shoes and you, and they, deserve basic healthcare (the same as people on Medicare do)–Not because they are stupid or lazy or because you are any more worthy an individual because you work hard. It is part of the human condition to sometimes get sick. It is a worthwhile goal to ensure that our lives not go down the toilet if and when that happens to us. By the way, it’s not “charity” to accomplish that goal. Every time an American ends up the ER because they have no other option, we ALL pay–including you.

    • Reaganomicon says:

      I don’t think they’ve become lazy and useless, I think they’ve become apathetic regarding the political process, with good reason. The political process is run by people that have never had to work beyond a silver spoon, which really hasn’t changed a whole lot since it was conceived of by the continential congress. Your complaints, e.g. immorality, indecency, laziness – are old, and were made by people in the 40’s regarding their kids, the 50’s regarding their kids, the 60’s regarding their kids, and really, should I go on? It’s a function of technological advancement, we become less busy in some ways and more busy in others.

    • Anita says:

      Let me tell you what’s IMMORAL Bunnell: it’s the cost of walking into a dentist or a doctor’s office for treatment without insurance. How MORAL is someone working two and three jobs to keep food on the tale and a roof over his family’s head, but still having to use an emergency rooms to treat his kid’s bronchitis or asthma attack? The cost of many maintenance, life saving medications are IMMORAL. The cost of a hospital stay is IMMORAL. How does one justify the charge of $5.00 for a Q-tip? How MORAL is it to refuse insurance to a child born with a heart defect? Ever ask yourself why it is so high? I do. Having your employer decide to maximize his profit by sending your job to a third world country and handing you a pink slip may be legal but is it MORAL? How about banks, unwilling to work with people temporarily strapped to stay in their homes, or to lend funds to small businesses like yours, so they can expand? Legal, yes. MORAL? You tell me.

      I don’t know if your reference to kids abandoning their parents is personal or something you heard somewhere, but for every hypothetical young ingrate there are young people struggling to keep their heads above water and to make their parents proud of them __not an easy thing in a world of high interest student loans and few full-time jobs available to recent graduates and those laid-off. There are a lot of IMMORAL things in this world, but you Bunnell native, haven’t even begun to scratch the surface. Cheers!

  9. L.D. Ablo says:

    Three words: DON’T REELECT ANYONE.

  10. confidential says:

    Social Security is in a tight situation because when they had a good surplus years ago they send it to the general fund to pay non intended uses other than save it as a rightful reserve. So please get informed before using SS as an example of bankrupting USA, as is a big lie:
    Just Google and more will surface to enlighten the misinformed.

  11. rhweir says:

    I get very nervous about stereotyping any group of people. To lump an entire group of people together based on age is just wrong. The entire article made me cringe. The thing about the ACA is that it is so watered down and was not implemented universally. By universally, I mean the employer and individual mandates should have been implemented at the same time. By watered down, I am referring to the 400% FPL limit which makes it just another need based program. I wanted to see true, universal health care in this country. Instead, we have a half baked plan that resembles an end run ineffective expansion of Medicaid Managed Care. I would rather have seen a true Medicaid expansion using manged care and share of cost as opposed to the ACA subsidies and exchanges. What we have now is a complicated unworkable mess that has hurt so many and benefits so few.

  12. Pierre Tristam says:

    fruitcake, if you ever got a home-mortgage interest deduction, you got a hand-out. If you ever got a guaranteed student loan, you got a hand-out. If you ever filed for a child tax credit, you got a hand-out. If you ever had an employer who provided you with health insurance, you got a hand-out, because employer-provided health care is tax-free. If you’re on medicare, you got a hand-out. I could go on. So please don’t tell us your generation didn’t get any handouts. It’s the most hand-out pampered generation in history, with far more subsidies and hand-outs going to the better off than to the poor or the less well off.

    Bunnell native, the point is that while I’d welcome a reasoned refutation, you didn’t try, instead making specious claims about my motives. My aim isn’t to beat anyone into submission. That’s a lost cause. Speaking from evidence isn’t. It’s what’s lacking. Just because silly myths and emotional generalities abound doesn’t mean I must surrender to them and be silent. See my response in the paragraph above. Maybe that’s what’s bothering you. Going on at the lengths you did addresses none of the points I raised, though you make presumptuous assumptions about who has or hasn’t walked in your shoes. I have a small business too. I can barely afford health insurance. I’ve had my share of medical issues. The Affordable Care Act will make matters more affordable, and has nothing to do with laziness and everything to do with fairness. I don’t see much wrong with that, even though, as rhweir says, it’s nowhere near the universal care it was at first intended to be. It’s barely a start. But personalizing these broader issues doesn’t help. Our personal anecdotes aren’t the defining factor of who is owed the dignity of a few essential rights. You walk in your shoes, I’ll walk in mine, but let’s not be hypocrites and pretend to turn those shoes into cudgels over others’ rights to have a chance at making their own way. I’ll grant you this though: When it comes to refuting the lies of Fox-parroting ideologues, whose meanness reflexively crosses over to sadism and the occasional bigotries, I’ll talk that language too, since it appears to be the only sort of language the people holding our society hostage can relate to. Right-wing bullies have cornered the market on myth-mashed mean-spiritedness and don’t know what to do with themselves when it’s put back in their face, but with a bit of evidence to show how bonkers they are. I’ll argue, I’ll debate, I’ll tear down any argument that doesn’t know facts from farts, and I’ll welcome rejoinders, assuming they’re not more of the same. It’s my job after all. The difference is that, unlike you, I’m willing to put evidence and my name behind it. But anonymity is your right, at least here.

    One last thing: it’s not your weather. It’s not even your Florida. It’s all ours, whether we’ve been here for five weeks or for five generations. Nativism is un-American.

  13. rhweir says:

    “if you ever got a home-mortgage interest deduction, you got a hand-out.” This is not accurate, the FHA and VHA are not need based. The ACA subsidies are tied to the Federal Poverty Level (FPL) and therefore, it is need based. Medicare is not a need based program. Medicaid, the Food Stamp program and cash assistance are all tied to the FPL like the ACA subsidies and are need based programs. There is a big difference between programs that are need based and those that are not need based. I am not judging anyone for receiving benefits from a need based program, just pointing out the difference. We also need to be very careful about stereotyping age groups and the term “Geezer” as printed here, well, it just is not cool man.

    The whole geezer label and name calling is bad news. It sounds hateful. Very disappointed to read this in 2013, I thought we all knew better by now. It looks like age discrimination is alive and well in Palm Coast.

    • A.S.F. says:

      I find all this indignation about being called “geezers”, and all this complaining about age-based discrimination, rather ironic when it comes from the mouths of people who have made outrageously prejudicial remarks about people of color and those who happen to be on any type of assistance, for whatever reason. If your own actions and your own words bespeak ignorance when it comes to other groups of people, what makes you think that you will fare any better in their eyes? Like I’ve said before, Karma is a b**tch sometimes.

  14. Biker says:

    Obama care has been a lie since the beginning- Remember- ” This is not a tax increase”? A lie!! You are right in that the Supreme Court ratified it,- and they called it what it is- a tax . The largest tax increase on working class America in history. Even the elected officials that voted for it had no idea what it contained. And besides our government has made such a mess of social security, what makes you think they are not going to make this program their private piggy bank as well?

  15. confidential says:

    Great reply Pierre!!
    This afternoon our friends and us will be cruising the Intracoastal in our way to Sweetwaters…to dine and support the new restaurant reopened that creates new needed jobs for many in FB and we will be enjoying OUR navigable waters and OUR beautiful Florida Weather as we cruise!

  16. Bunnell native says:

    I guess I took offense to the term immoral concerning that generation. Society is filled with so much indecency and immorality. No I didn’t address the subject of the article at all and kind of wandered off. My mother worked for and retired from Medicaid/State of Florida and dedicated herself to protecting the downtrodden. The lady won awards. Her pension is tiny, her social security not much more and every penny of both goes to the facility. I pay the remainder of her bills. When the time came for a nursing facility she was treated like a spy. I lived the process with her and it seemed easier for people with no work history, private insurance or having contributed a dime to find a path thru this end of life process. Explain the fairness of this to me please. Also this might be unrelated a little but could you touch on insurance companies not being able to sell across state lines, what are the facts on this? Wouldn’t simple competition be the biggest help driving down premium prices. Also who do think in the end will benefit from the healthcare act? Right now the middle class falls in the gap like they do with most things. Is there going to be anyway for healthcare to be affordable but without making it a welfare type situation. The country is broke, how do we pay for this? What about the simple fact that it is a government mandate. That can’t be fair can it? What about replenishing the coffers of the government? Can the workforce of today pull that off, and if so how? The Florida comment was mean I admit and was blindly aimed but people take mean and derisive potshots at Florida all the time on here. That was defense only. I know this is a lot to ask in a comment so for the moment I will stand here in complete ignorance and ask in humility to explain things to me. Maybe just the relevant parts if any please.

    Sorry 2 quick points and I’ll be silent. Can’t Nativism be pride for and love of ones state, town, school, street etc? Why do people move to a place and then try to tear it down? I’m not trying to be a jerk its a real question. If it is so bad why do they stay? 2nd point is clearly as a professional journalist who studies, I assume, around the clock to learn the facts to report on, you are far more knowledgeable then I am on tons of things. My Anonymity is not from fear of your knowledge or education or use of the English language, you win hands down. My fear is of the internet and the cyber-criminals lurking. YOU have my email address in your data bank, that must mean I have placed a trust in you. In my book that counts big time!

  17. Ken says:

    To call medicare a handout to those of us who paid far more into social security than we will ever get back is wrong. To call a tax break taken by a taxpayer a hand out is misleading considering the number of people who receive more back from the government than they pay in. Now those people are getting a handout.
    Your characterizations of Fox News, Fox News-parroting ideologues, right-wing bullies, etc is not a reasoned discourse but rather a rant. Please show a little more open-mindedness and a little less bias.

  18. one who knows says:

    Where is all the SOCIAL SECURITY deduction money employers pay to hide illegal aliens that they can never claim? SERIOUSLY.

  19. one who knows says:

    TO BLONDIE: Sounds very much to me that you deserve some finacial help. Please talk to someone at a church or government agency. I wish I could help you. Also, go to fundme, on the net. WHY NOT, you may be pleasantly surprised.

  20. fruitcake says:

    I NEVER took a government handout! as a self employed business owner I had to make a profit to pay for my bills BUT I did pay PLENTY of tax dollars for over 40 yrs to pay for those that didn’t & counldn’t pay…..I worked and paid CASH for everything I earned and wanted…and I had the cash BEFORE I bought it….
    Nothing I life is FREE…and all the ACR is doing is re-distribution of tax dollars…taking dollars away from Medicare…that’s dirty pool and changing the rules after the game started. Let me ask you a question…Who exactly is going to pay for the ACA “subsidies or tax credits? During “my generation” welfare and food stamps grew exponentially>>>who paid for that?

  21. fruitcake says:

    All our government had to do is to expand medicare to cover everyone rather then creating another
    government agency

  22. Freddy says:

    I do not know about each individual’s circumstances but my wife had a limited plan insurance that cost her $75 a month. It does cover doctor visit, mammograms, and x rays and discount on drugs. The insurance company notifies her that as of Jan 1 that plan no longer exist and she must sign on to Obamacare with a premium of $646 a month and $6000 deductible. Guess what? She will take the penalty and go to ER when she needs a doctor. So where is this affordable health plan? The insurance agent told her a lot of their clients have chosen to do the same. Can you blame them?

  23. Nancy N. says:

    I was watching “The American President” last night, and it was amazing how much of that movie actually speaks to the country’s current political situation.

    One line stood out, though. The lobbyist character, Sydney Wade, says to the Democratic president about the Republican candidate, “How can you have patience for someone who claims to love America but clearly can’t stand Americans?”

    I really feel that is where we are at right now – a lot of this country’s politicians, especially on the right, spend a lot of time declaring their patriotism (and questioning that of their opponents), yet seem to not give a crap about all but a slim demographic of the people that makes this country what it is.

  24. Pogo says:

    Brother Tristam, well said. Galt’s tribe; their know nothing relatives, flat earthers, intelligent designers, Fox Kool-Aid guzzlers, et al and etc that troll here are dependably tormented. Good.

  25. Jim R. says:

    I’m one of those geezers, but I want Medicare for all. I see the AFC act as a doorway to that end even though it is a gift to the insurance companies right now.
    As they begin to tweak it and try to make it better it will become obvious that single payer is the way to go and then free health care as all the other industrialized countries have. Why it is not obvious to everyone that the radical element of the Republican party works for the interests of the rich elites and the corporations is a mystery , but happily it looks like the Republican party is committing suicide , good f——g riddance

  26. Larry's Guns and Ammo says:

    Well Pierre I can see you have taken some heat for your comments. While I do not agree with a lot of your thoughts on the unaffordable health care plan I do commend you for taking a position. With out freedom of speech we are doomed. As a strong supporter of a Constitutional form of government and our 2nd amendment I will always support your freedom to speak your thoughts and share ours. Hang in there!

  27. djsii says:


    Only an extremist left wing radical (which apparently you are) would consider any kind of TAX BREAK a hand-out. When it comes to tax breaks, the Government isn’t GIVING me anything, they are just not taking something from me that was MINE to begin with.

    I guess if we were into name calling (as you apparently are) we could call you a Obama Marxist or an Obama Socialist, or possibly an Obama Communist. Does that make YOU feel better about YOURSELF; does it make YOU feel better about YOUR beliefs??

    • Pierre Tristam says:

      djs, A tax break is no different than a hand-out: if you get a tax break, someone else must pay for it. But it’s been convenient for lawmakers to come up with all sorts of euphemisms for those hand-outs, with clear results: you’re buying into the delusion. Incidentally, I’m also an Obama Muslimite an Obama Jew an Obama atheist an Obama Pope Francis fan an Obama multiculturalist an Obama fag an Obama immigrant (illegals included), and so on.

      • palm coaster 12 says:

        So it’s ok to have to care for the kids until they are 30 but god forbid the kids should help the parents!
        By the way, Pierre Tristan is obviously has a socialist agenda.

        • A.S.F. says:

          @palm coaster 12 says–Mr Tristam “obviously has a Socialist agenda?” It’s obvious to WHO? Why, to those who watch FOX news obsessively and listen to Rush Limbaugh and his ilk as though they are the fonts of wisdom, of course. We all know how pure and unbiased THEIR agendas are! Parents who bear children with the expectation of anything other than loving them and doing the best they can to raise them to be good and decent human beings might well be disappointed, especially if their attitudes while doing so are rigidly egocentric and unbending. We can hope that people will turn out the way we would wish but that doesn’t mean that they will. Being kind and giving to others is probably the best way to ensure that our children will grow up with those attributes. We might also want to make sure that our children can AFFORD to be generous to us in our declining years by not bankrupting them with what we demand to be our due while complaining about anything we may be asked to sacrifice in return.

          @Outsider says–Nobody is giving anybody free healthcare, unless they are in dire and obvious need. People will be paying for their coverage based on their circumstances and ability to do so. Our healthcare system is already so unjust, out of control and broken that something HAD to be done. If you, or the Republicans bent on defeating any and all efforts at reform, have any better ideas then STEP UP TO THE PLATE AND DO SOMETHING ABOUT IT! Don’t just spend all our valuable time and resources trying to defeat everything anybody else comes up with! Saying, STOP THE PRESSES AT THE TREASURY AND DON’T PRINT ANY MORE MONEY (except when I, personally, need it) is NOT going to save our country’s economy–and it may just sink it.

          @Old Sparky says–It must have really upset your applecart when Obama was elected…twice. He didn’t stage a coup. He was elected by a majority for promoting agendas that people could at least stomach more than they could stomach the self-serving, cynical (and sometimes plain bizarre ) views voiced by Republican candidates (especially those promoted by its fanatical Tea Party faction.) You may not approve of today’s state of affairs but you are also responsible for putting it in place. If you want the tide to turn, you are going to have to do a much better job of relating a saner (or, at least, less objectionable) message…And it would help if you stopped trying to further your own aims by misrepresenting everybody else’s.

    • NortonSmitty says:

      If you want roads, police, mail and to fight wars on three continents it costs MONEY. If you’re not paying your fair share, it’s a handout and you are a freeloading parasite, greedy bastard or a typical Republican. What you are not is an American patriot.

  28. djsii says:

    I am neither Republican nor Democrat. I’m not rabid right nor rabid left. I’m neither rich nor am I poor. I’m about as middle class as one can be. I, like millions of other seniors, have worked very hard to get where I am today and have earned (not been given) my retirement. I’m certainly not delusional enough to buy into the whole socialist movement that is running the country today. I just do not succumb to the delusion that our generous and benevolent pre-socialist Government is allowing me to keep what I have worked hard for and therefore giving me a break.

    I realize that the socialist “Redistribution of Wealth” theorists, such as yourself, feel that the Government should embark on an ambitious agenda of “free wealth” for every citizen (or illegal alien) that resides within our borders. You parents should have taught you long ago that nothing is free. If you don’t earn it yourself, someone has to give it to you, or you have to steal it from the labors of others.

    I do not totally disagree with your article on the need for some form of universal healthcare. I am unclear whether the ACA is the real answer. I, like the majority of the House and Senate, did not read the law before it was passed. Only time will tell if it will be successful.

    • A.S.F. says:

      @djsii says–So, you would just assume that anyone who voted for Obama is a Socialist, anyone who cares enough about the health and welfare of others that they think everyone should have healthcare coverage is a Socialist, anyone who hires anyone to work for them who might have a chance of being an illegal alien is a Socialist, anyone who helps anyone in need is probably a Socialist (or has Socialist tendencies), anyone who has the temerity to expect that seniors look beyond their own noses and accept that the problems and challenges that others in our country face is just as important and worthy as they are, is a Socialist. In other words, anyone who doesn’t subscribe to the Ayn Randian “it’s all about the individual ME!” or the Conservative “Survival of the fittest (and by that, I mean Richest)” is a Socialist….Count me in!

    • hmmm says:

      djsii – “free wealth”

      PLEASE think about what you say. You clearly are not educated on what socialism is because this Country is no where near it. This is simply a reiteration of the boogie man words such as the term ‘communism’ is used to scare people who choose to receive all of their information from sources that reinforce their personal archetypes like the divisive news & talk radio programs that abound rather than actually learn about that which they speak. Your use of ‘free wealth’ for every citizen displays a glaring a conflict of meaning in and of itself. Free & wealth, meaning everyone is wealthy? If everyone is wealthy the word needn’t exist as it would have no function. Your ability to think through a concept is glaringly deficient; i.e. if a system were in place where every American had access to the basic necessities of life, can you- just for a moment- give credence to the possibility this whole asinine thought that money & greed as being the only motivator for Americans would not exist as well? I know scores of AMERICANS who do what they do not for the love of money, but for the purpose and connection to the outcome they have with their occupation. If wealth were the only reason any one worked we would all choose the top paying position, thus collapsing society as we know it because we all are not designed to be duplicated, money hungry, selfish lunatics. I WORK hard. I have WORKED since I was legally able to. I will continue to work as long as I am able. If this so called lazy, non-motivated, entitlement culture alluded to is so pervasive and desirable then why are we not all going that route? My career fills me with purpose and meaning. I want no part of your greed soaked- everyone for themselves mentality. I am an AMERICAN. I am not a self-sufficient island unto myself. And neither are you. Please try to regain your humanity and recognize you are a part of a COMMUNITY… perhaps you should start by studying the meaning of that word.

  29. Outsider says:

    You’re all missing the big picture. Sure it would be great if everyone had “free” healthcare, but no such thing exists. The fact is, we can’t afford this program, nor much of any other. We are broke, we are in insurmountable debt, we have a hundred trillion dollars in unfunded liabilities, and you all want more? You all are like the band that kept playing on the Titanic until it sank. The federal reserve and the treasury are in a full blown incestuoous orgy of money printing, all so the powers that be don’t have to say “No.” Unfettered money printing is NOT a good sign.

  30. Old Sparky says:

    Who knew 53 years ago when then Soviet Premier Nikita Khrushchev uttered these words, “We will bury you without firing a shot”, his prophetic proclamation would materialize amidst a cessation in apparent hostilities between the two countries. Just as Khrushchev presided over a system in which decisions came from the top and citizens were left to tremble with fear, the same is true for the oligarchy Barrack Hussein Obama is attempting to establish in the United States of America! Doubt me, look at the way honest hard working Americans are being ridiculed and mocked as they attend the various town hall meetings and tea parties. According to high ranking Politburo member Nancy Pelosi these protesters are, “church-going rednecks attending the town hall meetings, and I’ve got to say they make me want to puke” President Obama is trying to make their lives better, and all they want to do is ask questions. Well, I’ve got your answers right here (grabbing her crotch), you filthy mutant nazi racists from Hell. “

    • NortonSmitty says:

      We are burying ourselves by going bankrupt fighting “Wars” on three continents that are really just sending our boys to be mercenaries for Big Oil and the International Banksters and send $billions to Israel and Egypt while our roads crumble, our people go jobless and Detroit and Camden turn into Beirut. We kicked ass over Germany, Japan and Italy in just four years, but we spend trillions and a dozen years supposedly fighting a few thousand Goat Herders in Opiumland while Halliburton and the Military/Industrial Complex sucks our country dry.
      Isn’t it strange how we spend 3/4 of our Fed budget on the Military and National Security industry not one word about cutting these bloated budgets and bring our boys home on the Tube. Republicans and Democrats dare not even mention the possibility of this, but instead battle over the crumbs we get for Food Stamps, Medicaid, SS and Education. But not one word of dissent or even discussion in Sodom on the Potomac regarding the costs of the Bush/Cheney/Obama expansion of Empire.. Why? Here’s why:

      To learn who rules over you, simply find out who you are not allowed to criticize – Voltaire

  31. confidential says:

    We have enough votes in Congress to pass the clean bill and open the government stopping this hideous shut down! C’mon Speaker Bohener put it up for vote!
    The clamors to stop these extreme Republicans horrible, undermining agenda that is costing us at least 180 millions a day! You lost the elections but anyway want to govern? Hello?

  32. Sherry Epley says:

    It seems to me that many readers of this article were deeply offended by the ” unfortunate” title and did not read beyond it. The body of the article in no way labels everyone over 65 as a generation who cares nothing for those that follow.

    While our very Capitalistic country is far from Socialism. . . there are many who falsely believe that Socialism and Communism are the same. The FEAR peddlers of the far right have many thinking that the monsterous hoards of Russia are coming to take away our precious “freedoms” and kill our babies in their beds. Please, please embrace your very real freedom to do your own research, learn from history and stop being controlled by the propaganda of the loudest fanatics on the far Right, or the Left. Reasonable decisions must be wisely made by the active, educated, caring voting moderates.

  33. A.S.F. says:

    @Sherry Epley says–I am afraid that, when many people talk about the threats to their “freedoms”, what they really mean is: I don’t want to part with my hard-earned buck, no matter what MY demands cost everyone else, fiscally or otherwise. I don’t see any reason why I should not be able to stockpile as many firearms and ammo as I wish, no matter what threat that may pose to the public safety (or even that of my own family, who lives in the house where I stockpile it.) I don’t want ANYONE, ever, telling me what I can’t or can do but I have every right to tell women what they can or can’t do with their own bodies, because Jesus personally told me so. I can interpret the Constitution any way I please and everyone has to accept that it’s my way or the highway. I can feel entitled to take much more out of Medicare and Social Security than I ever put in but anyone who tells me that I may have to personally contribute something for the public good is Socialist. If I see a Black guy coming too close to my front yard, I can shoot him on sight and absolve myself of any consequences that might result by shouting “Stand My Ground.” In other words, it really has very little to do with “freedom” and everything to do with selfishness and close-mindedness. And those two attributes seem more palatable to many when they are wrapped up in an American Flag.

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