Medicare and Me || by Skeeter :: The Skeeter Daddle Diaries
When I finally reached the ripe old age of 65, my nanny state sent me a notice that I could sign up for national health care, what some might call socialist medicine. Not me, I call it health care, paid for through my taxes over the years along with Social Security, what some would call a socialist give-away, but once again, not me. I call it my retirement fund. My nest egg for old age. But to tell you the absolute truth, call it whatever you want. And if you hate socialist programs, by all means, turn the money down and buy your own damn health care insurance.
For awhile I thought I understood finally what the Golden Years meant. Freedom from going bankrupt from the next health care crisis, if nothing else. That, of course, was before the phone started ringing. I have a landline, the precursor to a flip phone and the subsequent generations of cellular gizmos. My landline doesn’t have caller ID, something so far I refuse to pay for since I’m willing to answer my phone and be surprised who might be calling. At any hour of the day or night. I remember when we were on a party line here on the South End. Cost an additional buck a mile from the phone headquarters up in Mt. Vernon to get a private line. Per month. We endured the teenage girl and her mom for about a year before taking our grocery money to pay for a phone we could actually use occasionally. And that may be the case with caller ID eventually.
We get calls starting early in the morning and into the evening. They’re 90% from ‘Medicare Providers’. And they’re 90% non-human. They might ask how we are and if you answer, their programmed machine intelligence launches into their pitch. I used to keep answering the robot until a human was connected in order to finalize whatever transaction they had for me, then I would request they take me off their list. The next day, same time, the Hi, I’m Amy message would come on, repeated later in the day, repeated until you have lost your mind and found yourself talking ugly to the robot. The robot, thinking you just answered its last query, moves on to the next part of the sequence.
This is not what I had in mind for my Golden Years. What this is is the capitalist health care system piggybacking my Medicare. They’ll send me some box of health care stuff free of charge, so they say, and I assume the government will reimburse them. Maybe folks are happy to get free medical stuff. Right now I have all the medical stuff I want. Band aids mostly and a bottle of expired aspirin, but all I need. If I thought ditching Medicare would stop these incessant phone calls from Amy the Android, I might vote to repeal Obamacare and go back to the wild west of the American healthcare system, but somehow I suspect Amy and her legions of robot telemarketers would fill the void until having a phone with or without caller ID would be senseless.
Course, the peace and quiet might be worth it.