Medicare: When I Am an Old Man

            When I am an old man and I get cancer or a serious sickness that would be really expensive to treat, I would have a few options if we actually had a free market society:

  1. I can pay for my treatment with my own money that I wisely saved, because the possibility of illness at old age is quite expected. (You might think that this is outrageous because we all correctly hear how healthcare costs are extremely high over the past few decades. And, this is true because we don’t have a free market in the health care industry. This industry has been heavily regulated and controlled by government for many decades. Note that health care would be, on average, dramatically cheaper in a free market than in a market regulated, controlled, and redistributed by government.)
  2. I can pay for it with whatever my private insurance policy is (which would, on average, be cheaper in a free market than in the government-controlled market that we’ve had over the recent decades).
  3. If the above two options, in various combinations, aren’t enough, I could possibly ask for charity from a hospital, my family, my church, some charity organization, or some friends.
  4. And, if those things don’t work out, I can simply pass away. After all, that’s what happens when you get old, you eventually die. I don’t need to try to live forever as an immortal. It’s ok to die as an old man. It’s quite possible that it’s not worth the high cost to merely postpone my death for a few years.

             However, the current senior citizens (and, actually most people of all ages) in our country have mainly chosen a different option:  Medicare. They choose to unethically steal vast sums of money from younger people in order to give themselves a slight extension of life. Remember that there’s no such thing as “saving” a physical life, but only extending lifetime, because we all eventually die (see here). Seniors who receive treatment usually still die a little later, because they are already old and their body is falling apart rapidly. We are not “saving” them with Medicare; we are just keeping them breathing for a little bit longer. Many seniors evidently have enough vanity to think that their older lives are so worth extending for just a little while longer that they should be able to bankrupt and oppress the rest of the country. Don’t misunderstand me. I’m in favor of helping the aged with basic assistance like food, water, shelter, and interaction, or whatever you want as long as it’s through voluntary and peaceful means. I just don’t believe in initiating force and stealing huge amounts of money from hard working families to attempt to gain immortality in futility.  When your time comes, please do not choose to put your boot (or orthopedic shoe?) on the necks of your fellow human beings. Choose peace and dignity instead. Leave this world in a better condition than how you found it when you arrived, not worse.

             But, given that Medicare does exist even though it shouldn’t, and given that most people have contributed to Medicare through their taxes to some small degree, there is one way that might be legitimate to use Medicare as is. When one gets old, and if Medicare still exists, they ought to calculate the amount of taxes that they personally have paid into Medicare over their lifetime from their tax return history (and adjust for inflation), and they should only use Medicare to the extent that matches their lifetime contribution. In this way, it is not stealing because they are merely receiving money through Medicare that was originally taken from them earlier in their life. However, this is likely going to be a small amount since, on a net basis, almost everyone takes much more from Medicare than they have paid into it. Using Medicare a little bit to match your own personal contribution may be legitimate, but any use of Medicare beyond that is immoral stealing.

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  1. Pingback: Saving a Life | NOR GATE Libertarianism

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