Policy issues that affect seniors


The National Council on Aging is a good web source for tracking policy issues that affect seniors. In their article titled “Congressional Republicans Approve Budget Blueprint” we learn what the approved House budget has in store for America’s aging population. Their goal is to cut spending and balance the budget within ten years. I’m all for balancing the budget. It is responsible and necessary for the long- term health of the nation.

The proposed budget seeks to accomplish this by cutting or eliminating funding to some of our most vulnerable citizens including the poor, the elderly and children. Most of the proposed budget cuts are to food stamps, Medicaid and CHIP (the Children’s Health Insurance Program). There is language that would seek to partially privatizing Medicare. “The resolution passed the House last week by a vote of 226-197, with 14 Republicans and all Democrats voting no. It is scheduled for a Senate vote later today or tomorrow.”

The Center on Budget and policy Priorities has said the following. “The budget conference agreement, if adopted by Congress, will represent one of the most radical budget plans that lawmakers have adopted since they created the modern budget process in 1974.

That's no exaggeration. If they follow this plan, lawmakers would eviscerate substantial parts of the federal government -- including parts that have previously enjoyed bipartisan support -- and they also would violate the clear intent of the 2011 Budget Control Act (BCA).”

He goes on to paint a grim picture as Congress’ pet projects get increased funding while much of the social safety net is gutted. I also agree that the average American should not bear the burden of increased taxes but there are other taxes essential to the income of the nation targeted for elimination such as the estate tax.

AARP has a strong lobby and they attempt to influence policy makers regarding issues vital to senior citizens. The best way to protect your health and security interests is to get educated and get involved. People have power; especially in numbers; especially in large numbers. The Medicare generation has some big numbers. The good news is that if each person is actively involved in local and national politics they can have an enormous influence on the policy that is created over the next few decades. Being resigned or a defeatist is unhealthy and unnecessary. You have the power to positively affect your life, and what happens in Congress affects you. Find out who your local and state representatives are and contact them. Tell them what you want. Find out who your state senators are and see what they are voting on. This can all be done easily with Internet searches. Stay alert and stay involved. Your health and well being depend on it.


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