During an election year I am very selective about reading the morning newspaper (NYTimes online) because so much about polls and candidates is here today, gone tomorrow.
This morning I read that the the august sages of the our Supreme Court have somehow become hung up on whether the Health Care Bill they are now considering -- the legal ramifications that is -- mandates that every American must buy health insurance and if that's the case could they be mandated to buy (and presumably eat) broccoli? How and why did it devolve to a question of broccoli? Is that a newspaper writer's hook to get our attention? Or have some of the shining lights in Congress spouted this ridiculousness to draw attention away from the pros and cons of the Health Care Bill. Or did one of the Justices exercise his or her sense of humor only to be misunderstood as seriously extending the control of American eating habits to requiring broccoli?
Sometimes reading the paper is an exercise in credulity.
I happen to like broccoli a lot, even had a craving for it last week, bought some and ate it. But I don't like mandatory health insurance. I did not have health insurance of any kind from the age of 42 to 62 and I didn't need it. I worked as an independent contractor, I had no benefits of any kind from my employment, except pay for the job done and freedom to make my own hours which was important to me. I took care of my health, had yearly check ups which I paid for myself, paid for the few meds I took and once, when an EKG and stress test were recommended so shocked the staff at the doctor's office I was told, "we don't know what to charge you." And it took them three months to come up with a number and it seemed a reasonable on to me so I paid it immediately. I know many people truly need health insurance. I checked a couple of ways I could join groups and buy insurance through them. It was a huge number -- more for a year of coverage than I probably spent in that entire twenty years, at least if you don't count a couple of root canals.
My belief that we should not require everyone to have health insurance is really not a political stance. I am safely -- sort of -- in the Medicare years. It's a complex question. I wonder why many European countries can take good care of their citizens' health and have done so for many years while America seems not to care about healthy citizens unless a grass roots movement like the anti-smoking one shouts loudly enough to get tyrannical laws passed. It's all nonsense -- I won't stop reading the morning paper but I'll try to sift out the real news ... the exercise is getting harder and harder.
The mid-70s are a surprise! Part of me remains in the 50s -- age, I mean, not decade of 20th century. It's a joy ride, new experiences land in my lap and I've become a better quilter, poet, writer than I expected. It's a rich life for a person never rich financially. Hey, this is what the mid-70s are like!