La passeggiata is a tradition in any Italian town and Terni is no exception, so after dinner Giovanni, his brother Antonio in the red shirt,
and their wives went walking with my wife and I and as we walked we talked, as one does.
"Would you move back to Terni?" Christina asked me. My immediate reaction would be to say not in this life, but considerations of the frailty of old age forced me to be honest about that which scares me about growing old and more frail in America.
"The only reason would be because of Layne's fragile health" I said. "American health care will bankrupt us if we have a serious emergency." She looked startled.
"What about Obama's reforms?" she said. I explained how limited they are and how the Republicans won't stop until they are rolled back completely leaving us at the mercy of a system designed to deny us care- denial of coverage increases profits.
Her puzzlement grew visibly when I explained pre-approval and hospital co-pays.
"I thought if you had insurance everything is covered?" Layne and I burst out laughing. Thanks to her RA we know all about "denial of coverage" even with our work provided insurance.
Christina's idea of a hard days work is to cash in her inheritance checks supplemented by a couple of very advantageous marriages and costly, to her ex's, divorces..
"So Americans don't want health care as a human right? They reject that as socialism?" the arch capitalist said completely floored. I shrugged and ate my ice cream, from Cinzia's, recently voted the best gelato in Umbria. The line out of the gelateria at ten pm on Tuesday was constantly growing.
"Americans are stupid," Antonio's wife decided finally.
I said nothing and finished my pistachio and peach. It was excellent by the way.
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