The Fear of Trump Among the Elderly

senior, man, fearful, sad
A man fearful, sad. (Creative Commons)

I don’t know if there’s anything so under-reported and so heart-wrenching right now as the fear of Donald Trump among the elderly. There is a grave terror, almost, of what Trump and the Trump Administration might do to the safety net supporting the vast majority of our senior Americans. This is across the board, although some are more fearful than others, depending on race, ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation, veterans, those with physical or mental disabilities — no one seems to consider herself or himself safe.

Had a conversation yesterday with a retired couple. They’re white, middle class, now living on a fixed income. But their fear is palpable. The rumblings among the GOP in Congress to gut or privatize Social Security, slash Medicare — these are real concerns for this couple.

I’ve heard similar fears expressed by older family members and friends. The revolt would be great and gray.

GOP governors have already hacked away at Medicaid, with Maine’s GOP Governor Paul LePage saying earlier this month “he would rather ‘go to jail’ than expand Medicaid programs without a long-term plan for substantial funding.” That’s a nice statement, and, on the surface, it sounds like responsible economics. But what is he doing to secure such sustainable funding? And what is the economic cost of people dying early or young because of lack of access to health care?

If we examine news reports, we find some coverage of Social Security, fears of what Paul Ryan might do to Medicare, but this anxiety our longtime residents feel about Donald Trump, is, I believe, under-reported.

And I hope some news organizations begin to take a closer look.