Tag: Medicare

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.


Lieberman (the Tail) Wags the Dog (Senate): Democrats Likely to Drop Medicare Expansion

First, check Salon.com for Senator Joe Lieberman’s latest attempt to kill health care reform:

One of Joe Lieberman’s colleagues in the Connecticut delegation doesn’t think very highly of the way the "independent Democrat" has been mucking up healthcare reform legislation.

"Joe Lieberman has always been a person of conscience, and I take him at his word when he says he is opposed — but the ball seems to move," Rep. John Larson, D-Conn., the chairman of the House Democratic Caucus, told a handful of reporters outside House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s office Monday afternoon.

Lieberman, of course, announced late Sunday that no matter how much support the idea of a Medicare buy-in might have garnered from other Senate moderates, he’s not interested in playing along. Never mind that hesupported a very similar plan only a few months ago.)

From the New York Times:

Senate Democratic leaders said Monday that they were prepared to drop a proposed expansion of Medicare and scrap a new government-run health insurance plan as they tried to rally their caucus in hopes of passing the bill before Christmas.

After a tense 90-minute meeting on Monday evening, Senator Max Baucus, Democrat of Montana and chairman of the Finance Committee, was asked if Democrats were likely to jettison the Medicare proposal.

“It’s looking like that’s the case,” Mr. Baucus said, indicating that the provision might be dropped as a way of “getting support from 60 senators.”

Under the proposal, uninsured people ages 55 to 64 could purchase Medicare coverage. The Senate Democratic leader, Harry Reid of Nevada, floated the idea about 10 days ago as a way to break an intraparty impasse over his earlier proposal to create a government-run health insurance plan.

The signal from the party leadership came after the closed-door session to gauge sentiment for moving ahead with a pared-back measure that would not contain elements that liberal lawmakers had sought, particularly a public health insurance option.

Lawmakers and top aides said that the overriding view at the session held just off the Senate floor was that they had come too far in the health care debate to give up and that they should forge ahead with some legislation even if it was not all that they wanted.

I have been steaming about this all day. Lieberman (I- Connecticut) essentially works for the for-profit health insurance industry, not the American people. His wife certainly profits from the for-profit health insurance industry.

We have been bought and sold.