Marion Algier – AskMarion
How did we reach the point in America where we lost our common sense?
I recently came across this article in my local paper…
Annie’s Mailbox for 5/25/2015 – By Kathy Mitchell and Marcy Sugar
Dear Annie: Who decided when someone becomes an adult? Legally, you can vote at 18. You can obtain a gun or cigarettes and sign up for the military without your parents’ permission. But you can’t drink until age 21. Who makes these rules?
My 18-year-old son recently needed surgery. When I called with a question about the bill, the doctors and hospital staff refused to answer me. I was told no one could speak to me because my son is an adult. I politely said, “Excuse me, but that ‘adult’ is still in high school and lives in my home, and I am paying the bill.”
This very same “adult” can’t keep his room clean, yet he is responsible for making sure his medical expenses are billed correctly? And he’s supposed to pay them promptly from his minimum-wage part-time job? My son can stay on my medical insurance until he is 26, but I can’t ask a question? They say it’s for reasons of privacy, yet this “adult” boy walked through the living room in his underwear last week, and any idiot can find lots of personal information about him on the Internet.
And if an 18-year-old is responsible for his medical bills, why does the college look at my income when he requests financial aid? When these children learn to be responsible for their own expenses, they will become real adults in the real world. While there is no age at which everyone will be mature, we should at least make the laws equal. Any suggestions? — A.
Dear A.: Well, you could write to your congressperson about changing the laws. We agree that some seem arbitrary. Nonetheless, HIPAA grants medical privacy to all adults, and there are valid reasons for this. The way to get information for your son is to ask him to give his physician written consent for you to have access to his medical records and information. If he expects you to pay the bills, he should be happy to do this. Annie
This article and these laws are the perfect example of the state of our nation and of a nation of people who have lost all Common Sense.
When my daughter started college, I went to the parent sessions of orientation and my daughter accompanied me to some. At the opening session, the speaker said they were passing around a permission form for the students to sign, giving their parents access their school records. You could hear a grown followed by chatter emanating from the students in the audience. And then the speaker relayed his story about taking his son to college orientation the year before. His son said he wasn’t signing the form… To which his dad said, “Great! Then I’m not paying for college.” A moment later, the form was signed and in his father’s hands.
According the the Encyclopedia Britannica, adulthood is the period in the human lifespan in which full physical and intellectual maturity have been attained. Adulthood is commonly thought of as beginning at age 20 or 21 years, yet during a time where our young adults, on average, have become much more reliant on their parent’s support for a much longer time, Americans have lowered the age of consent from 21 to 18 for most things, while the law is holding those parents accountable for their children’s healthcare coverage and college loans to ages 24 or 26, yet bans those same parent from access to their dependent children’s records? Does it make sense to anyone out there?