Trout Republic: Medicare freebies

This past week has found Ol’ Dutch and Miss Trixie hip deep in archery elk season. Middle of the night alarms so I can trudge up and down these mountains in time for a sunrise shot, has put a serious strain on the old body.

I am not huge old, yet.  Just old enough and out of shape enough to feel the miles and lack of sleep. Last year I had dropped a lot of baggage -- physical not marital -- and did much better. But darned brownies and milk added some of that back on. Probably my thyroid right? Or, maybe my big mouth.

There is one good thing about getting older and that is finally the day comes when a person can get Medicare medical insurance. And if you couple that with a good supplemental policy you really pay very little out of pocket.

Ol’ Dutch worked for a major corporation for 32 years and because of that connection I qualified for their supplemental policy. And it’s been very good so far. Of course, threats about Medicare going broke pop up every few years, but that is usually when the politicians want to raise taxes for pork barrel projects and so they scare us into approving the increases.

Just this last year Ol’ Dutch got a letter from the gods in charge of Medicare explaining all the tests I now qualify for free. Now, I do not begrudge a single person health and happiness, but some of the Medicare authorized tests make me pause.

Sure, a great majority of us need preventive tests for cardiovascular disease, lung cancer, prostate cancer plus all the tests you can have for colorectal health. Those are all great.

But some of the other tests make me realize that there are people over 65 having a lot more fun than I am. I mean, I expect to see teenagers getting tested for sexually transmitted infection screening and counseling for things like Chlamydia, Syphilis, Gonorrhea and Hepatitis B.

By the time a person gets to 65, they really should know how to prevent that. At least pregnancy is not something on the list, as nature has taken care of that for us old people.

And as I scanned that lengthy list of all the free tests, I began to see why Medicare is in dire straits. Regardless of the lack of symptoms it appears that I can just about spend all winter just going in for tests.

The extensive tests covered are obviously the result of lobbyists, labs, doctors and hospitals creating a “make work” project.

This is much like the shovel ready projects that the feds often create with our money and in fact, this Medicare testing plan is so deep in doo you need a shovel to handle it.

But that won’t stop Ol’ Dutch from getting his due. Miss Trixie’s Momma was fond of saying, “if they are going to do it for one person, they should do it for all people, including me.”

And, that’s the reason this winter you can find Ol’ Dutch having a great time of it flirting with all those pretty nurses and receptionist and reading about poor Harry and Meghan in People magazine in the waiting room. If there’s a free test, sign me up.

Kevin Kirkpatrick and his Yorkie, Cooper, fish, hunt, ATV or hike daily. His email is [email protected] Additional news can be found at  or on Twitter at TroutRepublic


More In Opinion