I feel despondent.
Congress is determined to pass a bill that impacts health care availability.
My health care availability.
Oh, the impact to me won’t be so obvious. I have health insurance now through my current employer, and said employer is unlikely to discontinue health insurance coverage. I won’t be needing maternity care. I don’t have a catastrophic illness. I don’t have a disability or mental illness. And I live a relatively quiet life, so I’m not at high risk for injury.
But as one of those so-called older Americans- you know, I’m old but not old enough for Medicare- I will be faced with the stress of having to stay put with my current employer until I reach retirement age or face the prospect of paying out the ass for insurance. Unless, of course, I forego insurance, which is what the insurance industry and government would prefer.
The unkindest cut of all is not that my government doesn’t care about how this impacts me. It’s not that the persons who are supposed to represent me don’t.
No, the part that hurts the most is that my country as a whole doesn’t care about me. The people I work with. The people in the community where I live. My friends. My family. Tough shit, Jen. I love ya gal, but not as much as I love a tax cut.
Growing old has not been an easy transition for me. I work just as hard and as smart as I ever did, but these days I’m passed over for promotions in favor of younger, perkier workers. Others my age are trying to stay relevant by having plastic surgery to look younger. They try to convince the rest of us how happy they are with their lover/children/career. I’m practically invisible and generally ignored in public places. And you sure never see anyone like me on TV or movies unless it’s as someone to make fun of.
The world wants me to know in no uncertain terms that my value is not in what I am but in what I can give. As I age, I have less to give. I am not beautiful. I am not affluent. I am not rich. I am not wise. Therefore, I am not valuable.
Because I am not valuable, why should I be kept alive? No, should I get cancer or have a heart attack, better for the rest of you that I go ahead and die. Oh, you’ll pretend you care. You’ll send thoughts and prayers. But like everything else you’re too damned important to be concerned with, you’ll leave my health to your imaginary god. And when your god lets me die, you can sleep at night because it was his will I go.
I will continue to fight for myself. I just worry that the day may come when I’m no longer able to, because I know when that day comes, I can’t depend on you to be there for me.