“Keep your government hands off my Medicare”
At a recent town-hall meeting in suburban Simpsonville, a man stood up and told Rep. Robert Inglis (R-S.C.) to “keep your government hands off my Medicare.”
“I had to politely explain that, ‘Actually, sir, your health care is being provided by the government,’ ” Inglis recalled. “But he wasn’t having any of it.”
Less than half of Americans (44%) say that a new healthcare reform law would improve medical care in the United States, 14% say it would not change it, and 34% say it would worsen it.
The ‘government hands’ quote might be funny, but only until you realize that such ignorance is what prevents the country from improving the lot of its citizens.
Slate, complaining that this “joke” has started to wear thin, had an astute observation by Michael Kinsley it repeated:
The big lie that Medicare isn’t, nor ever should be, financed and regulated by the government, is a nice illustration of Slate founder Michael Kinsley’s hypothesis, articulated in his 1995 book Big Babies, that infantile denial lies at the heart of much contemporary political disaffection. The American people, Kinsley wrote, “make flagrantly incompatible demands—cut my taxes, preserve my benefits, balance the budget—then explode in self-righteous outrage when the politicians fail to deliver.” Although Kinsley conceded that big babyism had been enabled by both conservative and liberal politics, he wrote: “It is conservatives, more than liberals, who stoke the fires of resentment and encourage vast swaths of the electorate to indulge in fantasies of victimization by others.” This is perhaps 1,000 times more true today than it was 14 years ago.