Letter to Editor-Mae Yates

Privatizing Social Security end result would be like playing the Lotto with your old age retirement.  EYEONCITRUS.COM

My name is Mae Yates, and in March I celebrated my 90th birthday.
I remember a time before Social Security and Medicare.  As a child growing up in the Great Depression, I know first-hand how these programs changed the lives of millions of Americans for the better.

But Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan want to turn Medicare into a voucher system and privatize Social Security, ending these programs as we know them.
Romney and Ryan’s plan’s would raise the cost of healthcare for seniors by thousands of dollars every year, and for millions of Florida women like me, the costs would be even higher.

Romney and Ryan want to end Medicare as we know it

This isn’t only about my generation — I’m worried about the future for my children, my grandchildren, and my great-grandchildren. 

Privatizing Social Security

Seniors are already benefiting from the Affordable Care Act

Seniors and their caregivers should be watching closely as the Supreme Court hears arguments regarding the constitutionality of the Affordable Care Act, the health reform law and other aspects of health care provisions affecting seniors under the act.

At stake are major new benefits for people enrolled in Medicare that shouldn’t be overlooked during the legal wrangling in Washington, D.C. image Contrary to intentional misinformation meant to scare seniors, health reform is working and millions of Americans 65 and older are already reaping new benefits of an improved Medicare program.

Health reform has removed many financial barriers to preventive care for those with Medicare. Beneficiaries can now access services like annual wellness visits, cancer screening, and cholesterol checks with no out-of-pocket costs.

The dreaded "donut hole," the coverage gap that left seniors paying thousands out of pocket for lifesaving medications, will soon become a thing of the past. It is shrinking annually, and consumers are now getting 50 percent off name-brand drugs while in the hole. By 2020, the donut hole will be gone.

Surely the health reform law will bring big changes for Americans that will be confusing as they are put into place without well planned preparatory seminars for seniors. But the haze that has obscured the reality of the health reform law is starting to clear. As the fog lifts and seniors begin to understand and access these new benefits, it’s obvious Medicare recipients are already much better off.

In 2011 alone, nearly 3.6 million people with Medicare saved $2.1 billion on their prescription drugs thanks to the new law, and $135 million of that here in Texas. An estimated 32 million beneficiaries took advantage of at least one free preventive service. All the while, for many Medicare enrollees, Part B premiums actually declined in 2010 and 2011.

These are tangible benefits that seniors should demand be preserved regardless of the outcome of the Supreme Court case.

And if we can make it to 2014 with the Affordable Care Act intact, people who retire before age 65 will no longer have to struggle with unaffordable coverage as they anxiously await Medicare eligibility. Early retirees will get access to new health insurance exchange marketplaces that will not charge more or deny coverage on the basis of health conditions, and will also give a hand to moderate-income families who need help affording insurance.

But our new preventive care benefits will only work if we can get an appointment. Too many physicians are announcing they intend to accept no new Medicare patients, leaving seniors to wonder if this reflects an attitude of indifference to older Americans. Perhaps we seniors should demand better care from our Medicare doctors? One way we can improve access to the new Medicare preventive care under the ACA is to increase the number of health care providers trained in senior medical care. Texas and far too many other states lack strong geriatric training requirements in most health care science programs. Geriatric education in medical school results in healthier seniors and better care because physicians understand the aging body and treat it with greater insight and respect. Without required minimum standards for certification and continuing education, physicians today are just not keeping up with the latest in treatments, medications and considerations for those over 65.

Pairing the ACA’s new Medicare prevention benefits with strong standards for physicians to annually update their knowledge of care for seniors could improve outcomes without cost to taxpayers. The more our doctors know about optimal care for seniors, the better the care. Fewer medication errors and hospitalizations would be a happy result. And many physicians would fulfill their continuing education requirements in the process – improving care and cutting costs without adding to the expense of state agencies.

As the law continues to be debated, we’re likely to hear more of the same "government takeover" rhetoric. But ask a senior who’s gotten a free checkup or a break on the cost of prescription drugs and you’re likely to hear another story: about how the health reform law brings with it a sigh of relief.

Streckfuss is a retired registered nurse.

The Raw Deal?

Dennis Kucinich - www.Kucinich.us

"A Big Deal."

That’s what the White House has been fighting for the past few weeks in negotiations over raising the debt ceiling. It was a search for a "compromise."
And so yesterday, President Obama applauded the gang of six "compromise" based on, as he explains, "shared sacrifice and everybody … giving up something."
The only thing being compromised is the Administration’s values. This deal cuts Social Security and threatens Medicare and Medicaid, selling out those who need help the most, America’s children, poor and elderly – all while taxes are being cut.
Our message is simple: cutting Social Security which has nothing to do with the debt ceiling is not a "big deal" we can accept, it is a bad deal we must reject. Please sign my petition now, and forward it to 10 of your friends:

Do not let them disingenuously fold the issue of Social Security – which is solvent through 2036 – into raising the debt limit. Do not let them move the ball so far down the field that a "compromise" has become a politically friendly term for caving in on the very cornerstone of our Party and – more importantly – on well established principles of economic and social justice in America.
The more details that emerge, the worse the picture gets. While our unemployment remains perilously high and families are suffering, instead of a roadmap for recovery we are receiving directions towards another depression. Any "deal" that ignores the massive economic challenges of this country and balances the budget on the backs of children, seniors and the poor is not moral. In a lifetime, will our party have journeyed from the New Deal to the Raw Deal?
I hope you can help me through insisting that Congress find a more fair and just compromise. It would be helpful if you
sign the petition and circulate it to your contacts

With respect,

Dennis Kucinich

Phase out Medicare and Social Security?


Insane Clown Posse 2
Image by bobster855 via Flickr


Image by bobster855 via Flickr

Some truly frightening Republicans are poised to take over the House—and maybe even the Senate. We can’t let that happen. Can you take 20 minutes to call MoveOn members and ask them to volunteer for the key campaigns that will determine control of Congress? Click here to sign up: 

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Have you heard about these far-right Republicans running for office this year? These people are truly frightening. Check out these quotes:

“We need to phase Medicare and Social Security out.”—Sharron Angle, Republican Senate candidate in Nevada1

“There should not be [a federal minimum wage]. That is not within the scope or the powers that are given to the federal government.”—Joe Miller, Republican Senate candidate in Alaska2

“I am pro-life. I don’t believe in the exceptions for rape or incest.”—Ken Buck, Republican Senate candidate in Colorado3

We cannot let people like this run the country.

And to make sure that doesn’t happen, we’ve identified the closest races around the country that will determine who controls Congress next year. You can help win these crucial races by spending just 15 or 20 minutes calling other MoveOn members who live nearby and asking them to volunteer. You can call right from home. Click to sign up:


Our handy online calling tool makes it super-easy to recruit volunteers on these key races. We’ll give you everything you need: the phone numbers, calling script, everything. You don’t need to have experience or special expertise. All you need is a phone and a computer (that can be on the Internet at the same time that you’re calling).

The crucial part that’s missing is you. Without the help of MoveOn members, our Progressive Heroes and other brave Democrats are at serious risk of losing their seats to the far-right wing of the Republican Party—and we could lose the House AND Senate.

We can’t risk the future of the country on Republicans who think we should get rid of the minimum wage and Social Security. Can you help out by calling MoveOn members in key areas to recruit them to volunteer with the most important campaigns? Click here now to sign up to get started calling:


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–Steven, Adam, Lenore, Duncan, and the rest of the team


1. “Sharron Angle says eliminate Social Security,” Progress Now Nevada, June 8, 2010

2. “Joe Miller: ‘There should not be’ a federal minimum wage,” The Washington Post, October 4, 2010

3. “Ken Buck: No abortions, even in cases of rape and incest,” YouTube, August 3, 2010

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