The phrase, 'there’s more than one way to skin a cat' is hardly ever used these days and that’s unfortunate. You see it should be resurrected as a subtitle for the wonderfully wacky world of politics.
Simply put it means you can find many ways to do or say anything. And of course each of those ways will mean different things to different people.
Even placing the emphasis on different words in the same sentence will convey an altered meaning to the subject at hand.
Prove it to yourself by saying the following sentence six times emphasizing a different word each time.
“You want me to do that?” (My favorite is the third utterance.)
The above was a simple example. Now imagine a far longer sentence or better yet a complicated issue such as Medicare.
In the current fight between the two major political parties and one minor party the emphasis is on the cost and how it affects our deficit. But the cost should not only be a monetary one.
It’s easy to say that increased membership in Medicare caused by the aging of our society will increase our nation’s deficit but we should also note that drastically changing the system could increase our Nation’s death rate!
Unfortunately some of the people arguing the case sublimate that fact. They understand that the fewer people utilizing Medicare, be it from lack of need or death the less money will be spent. And the less money spent the more money to use elsewhere.
Do I hear the defense lobbyists lining up?
An issue as far reaching and multi-faceted such as Medicare cannot be explained in one line. There will never be a quick fix worthy of a satisfactory sound bite for us to hear on cable network news shows, at least not a real one.
But I herewith offer a streamlined view of one of the main points of contention between politicians from all sides of every aisle.
If a senior needs medical care they currently see their doctor and most of the costs involved come out of the government coffers. The coffers have that money as a result of contributions made by those seniors in the form of deductions taken from their lifetime of wages.
One could say the seniors are entitled to that money or at least the peace of mind coverage for which the money was paid all those years. Naturally the word ‘entitlement’ has been given a bad connotation by the same people who wish to rid the country of such ‘socialistic programs, but that’s another issue.
The ‘right’ wishes to privatize Medicare. They propose issuing seniors vouchers with which they may to go out and buy insurance on their own. This would remove the worry and expense of covering these elderly people should they get sick, and of course there is no disputing the fact that they will!
In order for the ‘right’ to save the government money in this scheme the amount of the vouchers must be less than the expected payment to cover the elderly in their hours of need.
Again there is no dispute on that fact.
So the ‘right’ will spin the issue and state that they are covering seniors and saving the government money. Who could argue against such a win-win conclusion?
But one need not delve too far into the facts to realize that if the government is saving money then less money is being spent and less money means less coverage.
Also the ‘for profit’ insurance companies will not be all that willing to actually cover the seniors to the full extent of their needs since they are after all for profit!
So the end result of the proposal by the Republicans on the ‘right’ higher profits for private insurance companies, possibly a slightly lower deficit assuming the small amount of money saved is not funneled into other non socialistic programs immediately, and a lower life expectancy for middle class Americans.
Doesn't this sound a bit like what the 'Conservatives' were chanting about a couple of years ago?
There will be no easy solution to this problem as the majority of Americans enter into their supposed Golden Years. One might argue that a higher tax rate on the wealthiest among us must be considered and corporations, who have been given near citizenship rights by our Supreme Court, should therefore be included in that group. Certainly that would be a start but more is needed. And we need our leaders to stop posturing and, for lack of a better term, lying to our faces about the issues.
Remember that while it is only a euphemism, skinning the cat will result in the death of the cat. The problem is ‘we the people’ are the cat!