Federal Halloween Monsters
Too many knocks on the door
By Glenn Mollette
It seems that America is living in perpetual Halloween. It's like Bill Murray's movie Groundhog Day. We constantly relive Halloween and we're not laughing. The same monsters keep coming and coming to America's door but they want more than candy. The monsters come in the form of the Afghanistan war, Social Security and Medicare/Medicaid.
The average American doesn't mind what we spend on defense. We rejoice in our freedom and want to support our troops. Most of us believe our military earns their money and deserve more. The rub comes in the fact that we are sick and tired of Afghanistan. In the middle of our budget crisis we were severely reminded by the death of more American troops that the Afghanistan war is very alive.
The loss of more life is a cruel visit by the ugliest monster of all. The knock on the door that one of our children has been killed is the greatest of all nightmares. Mr. President, give the command, get us out of Afghanistan. This would save our country approximately 100 billion dollars a year. We could use this money to do a few things at home but most importantly we could avoid more senseless loss of life.
Social Security is America's frequent treat or trickster. Fifty-eight million Americans are glad and can hardly wait each month. Every month the social security check or deposit is welcomed. Unfortunately the trick is the growing bite the government wants back in taxes. Plus, we are incurring more and more debt to keep the system going. We need 816 billion dollars this year to keep the checks rolling. This amount is only going to grow. The system will not sustain itself and all of us must be willing to be a part of the solution.
Medicare and Medicaid have the biggest and deepest sack of all. This is no little monster. It stands at the door totally unsatisfied for one treat but keeps nodding and shaking the bag for more and more. We will spend over 732 billion dollars on Medicare and Medicaid this year. The projections for the next ten years are scarier. At the forefront of this hungry monster are medical providers who bill our government excessive costs. One physician told me he always bills Medicare or the insurance company three times the amount that he expects to be paid. This same physician would never give me a cash price for a treatment I was personally seeking. He asked me to change insurance companies because my current company would not pay him what he wanted. If our government is going to continue to pay the hospitals, nursing homes and doctors it must get control of the excessive, abusive and fraudulent charges made by many providers. Once we get sick they show up at our doors and stay there until they have financially and emotionally drained us.
We could survive Halloween once a year. For most Americans there are too many knocks on the door from the same monsters and we're tired of them.
Glenn Mollette is an American columnist read in all fifty states. Contact him at GMollette@aol.com Like his facebook page at www.facebook.com/glennmollette
He is the author of American Issues, Nursing Home Nightmares and eight other books.