When I think of elderly people, including the ones naive enough to have believed Obama’s lies (at their age, they should have known better), my heart bleeds as I try to imagine them navigating Obamacare, and that’s true whether the system works or is broken. No matter what, a generation that wasn’t raised on computers, and that may be further hampered by physical disabilities, is not going to find even the best possible site easy to navigate.
My mother, who was born in the very early 1920s, is a very bright woman, but she was never able to master computers. The is true for all of her friends, both the ones I’ve known my whole life and the ones I’ve met since she moved into a retirement community. My father, my mother-in-law, and my father-in-law, alav ha-shalom, all had the same problem. They were old dogs, and computers were a new trick. This cartoon pretty much sums it up:
If you’re laughing, it’s because you know someone — probably a person over 70 — who views the computer precisely that way. Obviously, this isn’t true for all older people, but it’s certainly true for a greater number of them than you’d find in the 50-70 cohort. Moreover, in the under 50 cohort, I think you’d be hard-pressed to find anyone who doesn’t have at least some familiarity and comfort with computers.
For the older people, dealing with Obamacare is going to be a nightmare — and they are the some of the ones who will be most intimately connected with it. After all, I doubt that many, if any, of them have insurance with pregnancy benefits. That means that, if they don’t get insurance through some retirement fund, their policies will be cancelled and they’ll be pitched into the Obamacare marketplace. Once there, they’re going to have to figure out the Obamacare exchange.
Robert Avrech, at Seraphic Secret, reminds me that I’ve forgotten another cohort of people who can’t handle the difficulties of Obamacare. Unlike the elderly, who are limited by vision problems or arthritis or dementia or unfamiliarity with a new technology, these people are limited by . . . race, and only by race.
Yes, race. To see why, check this out.