All the good intentions of those two dreamers — President Barack Obama and Sen. Ted Kennedy — and their hopes that health care might be available to ALL Americans, have run into a wall of mindless self-interest.
It turns out that Medicare-eligible senior citizens are the new privileged class. People over 65 are the haves; people under 65 are the have-nots.
The virtue of generosity once again is no match for the power of fear and selfishness.
Senior citizens to America: “We’ve got our Medicare; the rest of you can go to hell.”
I never believed the prediction that American democracy would disintegrate into inter-generational warfare over Social Security and Medicare. I was under the naive delusion that America’s elders would teach wisdom and generosity.
Never mind. It turns out that as a group, senior citizens appear to be as callow as a gang of teenagers; as greedy as a roomfull of CEOs; as indifferent to the poor as a convention of Wall Street bankers.
If President Barack Obama’s goal of health care reform fails, it will fail because complacent senior citizens decide to make their children and grandchildren America’s health care have-nots.