Back in the days of wooden ships and iron men, the Royal Navy had a lot of ocean to cover and occasionally ran short on sailors. A favorite recruitment tool was to drop a coin in a tankard of ale which, when discovered in the bottom of the mug by lurking members of the press gang, was determined to be an implicit acceptance of employment by the poor sod holding the empty. He had in the parlance of the day, “taken the King’s coin” and was summarily hustled off to one of His Majesty’s ships for the duration. Over the years, the pewter ale mugs started being made with glass bottoms so that the discerning patron could examine his beverage before draining a potential contract. So it has been for centuries, that taking the king’s coin has impressed, even stolen many an otherwise happy life.
Forty-odd years ago,
A decade or more back, Medicaid recipients were issued gold cards that resemble credit cards. Anyone familiar with the ER environment has heard many times able-bodied, smiling beneficiaries in no distress exclaim as they check into the ER for a minor complaint, they “have the gold card” and that all is covered (without a thought to who is paying the tab). The other night, just after the Democrats increased nationalization of health care, I sat in a small town ER, talking with a lab technician, an x-ray technician, and a nurse. It was emblematic that the two patients in the ER were an elderly person who by age and ailment list would have long since run through any money that could have been contributed for her care during her lifetime; and a child whose parents spoke no English. I noted this as a microcosm of where we have come, four taxpayers at work, in part to pay for the care of two government patients. If you think this a harsh description, it is only because no doctor or politician has yet told you the truth. If you think I am being mean, then look at our deficit, the tax increases in this heinous bill, and the rising unemployment level.
Our x-ray tech laughed ruefully and exclaimed “We all have the gold card now.” I looked, and sadly, my coffee mug did not have a glass bottom.