Jack Simpson: Have respect for our elders



Elders are high maintenance. They need more care and suffer more health crises. Since they cost money, they are unpopular with the bureaucrats.

It is a shame that lately senior citizens are not getting the respect they have earned and deserve.

Think about it. Seniors are living on borrowed time. They have lived most of their lives and their ailments have begun to affect their quality of life. Oh, the history they have seen or helped make. They have stories to tell, but many youngsters are too busy playing games, watching television or texting to listen.

Seniors are worried that their own government is about to toss them into the trash heap. They cannot get much respect under Obamacare because this program will reduce payments to hospitals and other care providers. Students of the new health care tell us hospitals, hospices, dialysis centers and nursing homes will be paid less to treat seniors and many will die needlessly. With less money, hospitals will operate at less efficiency. Cutting care will mean longer waits for appointments to see physicians. Many seniors will die as care costs are reduced, waiting times get longer and needed care is not readily available.

Under the new rules and regulations, what kind of message are we sending society about our elderly? That they have become a liability and do not deserve survival? Isn't it interesting that more elders didn't challenge these new policies in the recent election? Obamacare carries some deadly results.

We can only wonder about the mindset of these "younger politicians" who wrote and adopted new health care rules. Did they not realize that one day they themselves will be classified as seniors and their policies will come back, with deadly results, to haunt them?

In the meantime, perhaps they can study the history of their country and begin by looking at American Indian culture. American Indians had respect for their elders who were regarded as spiritual leaders. Older members of the tribe had gained, throughout their lives, much wisdom which they passed on to the younger generation.

Within the family unit, these old people told their stories and were respected and honored much like parents, teachers, doctors and community leaders. Old people were cared for by the community and not discarded like old shoes simply because of age or infirmity. They were valued as members of the human family and the tribe. Budgets were not balanced by eliminating this treasured asset, keepers of the culture.

Elders have lived through infancy, childhood, adolescence and under Obamacare are in their final stage, obsolescence. Their contributions are to be forgotten and there now are only tears for their future. They are to be abandoned.

How have we as a people become so heartless? Is it greed? Will our new policies not cause us to lose more than we gain by subjecting ourselves to these new rules and regulations?

God bless our protectors of traditions and our culture, and the teachers of our young.

Jack Simpson is a former educator, veteran, author and a law enforcement officer. His column appears each Friday.