Eons and Eons

by francine Hardaway on March 6, 2007

I went on Eons, the social network for Baby Boomers, today. An interesting site with nav buttons like Fun, Money, Obits, and Contact Us. I’ve never seen Obits on a social network before, but I guess it makes sense. Perhaps you are supposed to write your own in advance and post it on the site, at the same time you plan your estate with a trusted advisor and your funeral at one of the mortuaries that now advertises on satellite radio (wasn’t that supposed to be the place to avoid ads?).

I also took a test that predicts how long I will live. According to the test’s calculations, I will live to be 100 years old. Apparently, there’s a huge correlation between not smoking and long life, higher education and long life, moderate drinking and long life…you understand.

This may be bad news for both me and my country.

I will have outlived my money many times over, and most of my friends, even the ones in their forties who are still forgoing sleep to start businesses and consuming too much alcohol or pot. My daughters, who will be nearly 70 themselves, will be struggling to take care of me in between hip replacements.

I will have cost the Medicare system millions of dollars, as Eons.com does not predict that I will live without cataract surgery, hearing aids, heart bypasses, replacement of multiple body parts, and the constant ingestion of pharmaceuticals. Never mind psychiatric care as I freak out before my centenary.

And I suspect the generations behind me are not anxious to see me around that long, healthy or not. After all, I am taking their jobs, their Social Security, and their health care dollars, as their premiums go up to pay for what Medicare does not. I, of course, will continue to exist on the latest and greatest aids to a high quality of life. Whatever can be replaced, will be replaced.

No wonder the subject of universal health care has come up again in the latest forays into what Jon Stewart is already calling Indecision 2008. We will probably have to figure out how to arrive at a system to take care of both the young ‘uns and ourselves. Because if we don’t kick off, we will prevent the one thing that could save the American health care system: our own deaths.

And I don’t think we will accept a single payer system, because that’s just another way to say “rationing health care.” And if it’s rationed, we will be the losers, because we’re the big spenders and consumers of health care. If it is to be taken away from anyone, it could be taken away from us.

So we will continue, because we’re a big generation (well, I’m not really one of you, but it’s close enough to get the picture and I’m riding on your coattails), to influence all governmental decisions. Don’t look for AARP to go away any time soon.

As Boomers age, we will vote more often and give more money to political campaigns. We will all turn into David Geffen. We will not let them take away our Medicare, or ration us. Twenty years ago, when the subject of rationing first entered the American health care dialogue, we defeated the concept because we didn’t want to lose our parents. Now we are defeating it because we’re not ready to meet each other again in the Great Beyond.

We look at what other countries have done to extend heath care to all citizens. What is it? A single payer system. What does that mean? A waiting list for care. But we are the people who don’t have time to wait. We’re the generation with heart disease and cancer. We need it now. We need it all.

Here’s what I see in the future: a boatload of doctors in developing nations providing care to Americans who are willing to travel for it rather than 1 ) wait for it, or 2) pay what it would cost if we didn’t. We will be going to Thailand, India, China – places we didn’t think were sanitary even to vacation in twenty years ago. Suddenly, their gleaming new hospitals will look pretty good to us if we can get an appointment for our necessary procedures.

Outsourcing our health care is just another step in the march toward globalization. Don’t you wonder when we will admit that the nation state as a concept is deader than we are?

{ 4 comments… read them below or add one }

Steve Cooperstein March 6, 2007 at 12:30 pm

It’s not the nation state that is the problem, unless you mean the U.S. nation state. The “problem”, human propensity to greed, is a worldwide problem.

On the other hand, humans, and nature and the universe, for that matter even more, do seem to be able to adapt.

Soooo, we “boomers” may be in for adversity through health by the misfortune of our or our childrens’ timing and domain, but in the longer run I’d suggest taking solace in that the beyond-our-knowledge will be around in its glory for way more time than we can imagine.


Francine Hardaway March 6, 2007 at 12:41 pm

I’m cool with however it goes :-)

Tom Hayes March 8, 2007 at 10:17 am

Wow. One of the most insightful blogs I have read in a while. Sobering–and yet makes me want to soldier on in my campaign to change the world. Good stuff.

Tery Spataro March 25, 2007 at 2:50 pm

I don’t think I really want to live that long. I don’t know Francine. I see only the medical and pharmaceutical industries making lots of money but will there be a true quality of life????

Though I am looking forward to reaping the benefits of an AARP membership.

How are you!? When can you come to NYC to play?

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