Mood: vegas lucky
Topic: "Greed is Good"(5)
"Opt in" and "veterans benefits" are terms that Frodo never really thought much about, until recently. For the first time, Frodo has been presented with some public issues that directly impact upon him, and his standard of living. Always before Frodo depended only upon his personal resolve, and the "rules of the road." Now, however, he is confronted with the other side of the coin, and it makes him uncomfortable.
Frodo's father fought in World War II and, as his survivor, therefore, Bilbo is entitled to certain benefits for care in assisted living. Bilbo will probably receive a little more than a thousand dollars per month for as long as qualified in order to help offset the onerous cost which emanates from these necessary services. Given a combination of Social Security and savings, Bilbo is in position to maintain financial independence for a reasonable projection of life. Absent the assistance of Social Security and "veterans benefits," it would be a very different story for Bilbo, and the anxiety thus created would likely destroy any concept of pleasurable existence.
Frodo is helping Bilbo document her application for veterans benefits. He has never before applied for anything that didn't require re-payment. Frodo assumes that what Bilbo will receive is actually a re-payment for services rendered, but it just seems strange for Frodo to ask for anything from his fellow citizens.
Frodo has been gainfully employed every single day for what will be exactly forty years, next month. That is a long time, in fact, longer than years of service almost everywhere in Middle Earth. Yet, Frodo falls below the magical determination by age which ensures his qualification for Medicare, and so does Sam. To be fiscally responsible, Frodo must subject himself to the usury of health insurance for the self-employed and keep working for another five years. Had the capacity to "opt in" or "buy" Medicare, even at a much higher than normal rate, become a part of the currently-debated "Healthcare Reform" come into being, Frodo could step aside, and give others the opportunity to take over and grow the business.
Apparently, the "option" to "buy in" will not be made available to Frodo. It would be easy to concentrate on Senators, and their motivations, and to hope that pustules break out upon the ass of Joe Lieberman (?-CT), thereby causing him as much "angst" as he has brought to bear on those similar in status to Frodo.
That brings Frodo back to the point that his initial consideration is for himself, and that is worrisome to him.
Frodo worries about lots of people, not least of which are those without access to life-saving services, preventative treatment, or professional end-of-life care. Frodo does not fall into any of these categories, so it is with that in mind that he will look at the absence of "opt in" as "unfortunate" for him, and do his best with the cards dealt to him.
He will, however, revel in any misfortune that befalls that smirking turd, Lieberman.