Beware of Candidates’ Misleading Appeals

(This article appears in the May-June 2014 issue of The American Postal Worker magazine.)

Judy Beard, Retirees Director

The Nov. 4 midterm elections are quickly approaching. Our vote is critical and can affect the outcome of the election.

Don’t be fooled by candidates with attractive campaign literature and broad statements painting themselves as a savior to seniors in order to lure our vote. You know the ads I’m talking about.

Also, beware of people who knock on your door or address community meetings speaking half-truths about their positions. Many candidates will be seeking retirees’ votes, when in fact their voting record proved that they do not support seniors.

A Case in Point

I remember too well when Rep. Paul Ryan (R-WI), chairman of the House Budget Committee, proposed a budget plan that would end Medicare as we know it. His 2011 proposal included what is best described as a voucher system for future seniors.

Votes on Rep. Ryan’s 2011 budget fell strictly along party lines: Republicans supported the measure; Democrats opposed it.

Today, Congressman Ryan is at it again. On April 1 he circulated a new budget proposal that would replace Medicare with a voucher system. It also would raise the age of eligibility to receive Medicare, and it would re-open the donut hole in coverage for prescription drugs.

The Ryan budget plan would impact people age 56 and younger. We all have family members and former co-workers under the age of 55. There is no justification for cutting their benefits. We know that as we age, we need our medical benefits more than ever.

Let’s tell Congress that they can fix the national deficit by increasing taxes on the wealthy.

We thank Secretary of Health and Human Services Kathleen Sebelius, who said, “Medicare and Medicaid are not the drivers of health care costs.” She further stated:

“They are growing more slowly than the rest of the health care sector overall. That’s been true for decades. Since the Affordable Care Act, they are growing much more slowly than private-sector spending.”

Today, as Congress debates reducing the deficit, in addition to taxing the wealthy, the legislature could find significant savings in drug costs. However, the Medicare Modernization Act of 2003, which created the Medicare part D drug program, explicitly prohibits the government from negotiating lower prices under Medicare.

Don’t Be a Victim

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