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writing for godot

Elder Rights Are Human Rights

Written by   
Wednesday, 09 August 2017 05:40

My previous essay on "America's Underbelly, Strong or Achilles' Heel?", promised the reader copy of my letter to Congresswoman Jayapal (D-WA), in order to highlight an untended need of our government's leadership.  Here it is:


Dear Congresswoman Jayapal,
By way of introduction, my name is Dr. Curlin, a constituent, who was in receipt of your wonderful letter of July 28th last. Your letter motivated me to communicate with you concerning my vision for passage of legislation which I label "Senior Citizen Bill of Rights".  The terms would confer a broad range of expense exemptions for American senior citizens who have attained the triple digit category of age one hundred.
The bill would provide 'exemption from cost' provisions for these "super seniors".    It would be broad ranging in scope, to include, but not limited to, health services (including in & out patient care), medications, transportation, entertainment, and communication.
As practicing psychiatrists, we are constantly confronted by the mental health conditions of seniors, emotionally compromised by the real prospect of economic privation coincident with the accretion of age accompanied by their diminishing ability to cope with a rising 'cost of living index'.  The bleak prospect of their involuntary, conveyor belt-like progression, toward the 'roller coaster' cliff of economic hardship & privation is a significant causal factor in elderly depression & suicide.  At the very least, this reality tends to blunt motivation to maintain good health.  It challenges, & often overcomes, the instincts to survive.
In short, the target of this 'super-senior' legislation would have the effect of stimulating the incentive to proceed to, & through, the 'golden years' via partially eliminating the real threat of inevitable elderly indigency.   From the psychiatric standpoint, the removal of this threat would go a long way in erasing the economically induced complex of elderly anxiety and depression.
As was well demonstrated in the famous novel, "Moby Dick", (Herman Melville) the will to either die or survive, affects the immediate longevity.  Increase of the nation's average longevity would be a positive to our national budget.  This fact may be considered a cost offset to the program, if enacted.  Also to be considered in cost analysis would be the juxtaposition for this program's cost against that of a single missile launch.  {cost/benefit of Trump missile launch on deserted Syrian airport 3 months ago?}
I would appreciate your consideration, & your reaction, for my proposal.
Respectfully submitted,
Frederick J. Curlin, M.D., PhD
Diplomated Psychiatrist
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+1 # CL38 2017-08-12 20:32
I would agree, but recommend starting this exemption at age 80, not 100.
0 # Depressionborn 2017-08-21 09:58
It costs a lot to keep many of us old guys alive. The solution is to stay healthy. no one works at it much.
+1 # futhark 2017-08-21 20:11
"Also to be considered in cost analysis would be the juxtaposition for this program's cost against that of a single missile launch. {cost/benefit of Trump missile launch on deserted Syrian airport 3 months ago?}"

This is so close to the much needed critique on national security I can hardly stand it. Are we more secure when we annihilate a person on the other side of the planet with a mega-expensive cruise missile or drone strike or if we spent the same amount of money on providing immediate security for senior citizens (which we all hope to be) or invest in the future by offering cost-free post-secondary education to young people of proven intelligence, talent, drive, and ambition. If this were put to a national referendum, I'm pretty confident that most Americans would understand where the good of the country coincides with their own personal fortunes and select the latter course.

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