I spent some time with a conservative, Bush-supporting family member (in this recent interview I tell you why mentioning family names is probably a bad idea) recently and while avoiding discussions of politics altogether, I came to realize this person was enjoying benefits from the very things they were fighting against.
We were talking about the family member’s long-time opposite sex partner that they’ve been living with for years, but not married to. They have signed all sorts of paperwork making sure that one can visit the other in the hospital if the need arises and act as decision maker if the other one is incapacitated. They also share health care benefits, through a partner plan at one of their jobs. And then we started talking about medical benefits, and how this family member benefited from Medicare in addition to other health coverage, which made doctor visits and prescription fills sound both cheaper and easier than my own high-end health plan.
Then it dawned on me — this family member that supports a president that wants taxes low, gays not married, and totally privatized health care enjoys many benefits and rights that a gay couple can’t have (while still being unmarried themselves) and also has access to socialized medicine. I never really thought about it, but most people in this country don’t want socialized medical care for all, but everyone over 65 gets it. I know gov’t health care has its drawbacks, but while people throw huge numbers around about how much it’d cost, how much debt we’d incur, and how much we’d have to raise taxes, we already have socialized medicine for a large (and growing) subset of our population. It’s a strange world we live in these days.