Medicare Smoke and Mirrors

May 29th, 2011 | By Sharon Shaw Elrod MSW EdD | Category: Social Security & Medicare

The Wall Street Journal’s lead article on May 26, 2011, is called, “Medicare Takes Spotlight“. The article is a response to the Democratic victory in a traditionally Republican New York Congressional district.  (D) Kathy Hochul defeated (R) Jane Corwin, who held fast to the position that Medicare should be radically changed and privatized.  But the article contained another quote that may be incindiary to those senior citizens who still have the ability to think for themselves.

Representative Cliff Stearns (R, FL) said, “It’s a wake-up call on how you frame it.  It obviously wasn’t framed right.” (emphasis added)  Whoa there, Rep Stearns!  What do you mean, “…how you frame it”?  It does not take a rocket scientist to understand the Republican position on Medicare.

What’s to ‘frame’ about privitazing Medicare?  That change would put the senior citizen health care program in the hands of private health insurance, and that will mean increasing costs to us seniors, who primarily live on fixed incomes with no hope of that income ever increasing.  Paying more in health care and Private Medicare means we have less to live on.  We’re not in favor of that.  And no matter how it is framed, most seniors see through the smoke and mirrors.

What’s to ‘frame’ about the negative claim that Medicare is ‘going broke’.  It isn’t going broke.  The facts and statistics prove that.  Further, Medicare services as they are known today could be assured for Baby Boomers and those reaching their senior years with one simple changeLift the employer payroll tax limit (Now at $108K) so that the wealthy pay their fair share of taxes.  That single move alone would make the difference between continuing to be concerned about Medicare benefits in the future and being able to lay this issue to rest once and for all.

No matter how it is framed, most senior citizens see through the smoke and mirrors.  And we also vote.

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