Not long ago, Americans learned that the average life expectancy for white people in this country – those most likely to have voted for Donald Trump – actually declined for the first time in many years. The pathologies and frustrations believed to have driven that decline may have motivated the tiny handful of votes that gave Trump his Electoral College victory.
But not long after their euphoria over his inauguration fades, they are going to learn why his administration is so likely to drive those statistics in the wrong direction. Despite his promise to protect Social Security and Medicare – and his vow to replace the Affordable Care Act with “something much better” – Trump’s cabinet appointees and his allies in Congress plan ruinous changes to those programs. And that will mean ruin, and in thousands of cases death, for the mostly white and working class people who depend so heavily on them
Ryan’s plan for Medicare, which he calls “premium support,” would turn Medicare from a single payer system into one where beneficiaries use their government benefits to buy private insurance. Proponents of the plan say that it will create competition in the health care market, which will in turn lead to lower prices and improved coverage. Critics, and there are many, worry about the confusion that a completely altered system will cause for senior citizens. They also worry that seniors will end up paying more money for private insurance without necessarily receiving better care
As Trump’s point man on health care, Price seems poised to play a starring role in any negotiations over entitlement reform, which means Medicare privatization could very well be on the table for a president who promised early and often not to tinker with it.
Amy Kinosian says much we all need to hear in her letter to the Mukwonago Public Forum
To the editor,
Congress is currently considering changes to both Medicare and Social Security that will cost seniors thousands of dollars each year. Paul Ryan has proposed turning Medicare into a voucher program — Medicare would be eliminated, and seniors (or their children) would have to shop for private insurance each year. The government would give each senior a “coupon” for income-based reductions in premium costs; however, this plan would require seniors to pay thousands of dollars each year in premiums, deductibles and out-of-pocket costs.
One study estimated that this plan would double the amount that seniors pay for health care costs each year! Simultaneously, Ryan wants to repeal the Affordable Care Act, which would allow insurance companies to again refuse to insure people with preexisting conditions (like most seniors) and set maximum limits on coverage.
The head of the House subcommittee responsible for Social Security just recommended that cost-of-living increases be reduced and that benefits for middle income seniors be cut. Ryan also supports privatizing Social Security, which would require seniors to depend on Wall Street hedge fund managers to manage the “safe” portion of our retirement plans. If this had been in place in 2008 when the recession hit, millions of seniors would have lost their entire retirement savings.
People forget that there was a time when millions of American seniors lived in poverty, alone or with their children. Let Congress know that these two programs should be fixed, not destroyed.
*President-elect Trump, who promised not to touch Social Security and Medicare during the campaign, advocates reform on his transition website and nominated a fervent privatizer, Rep. Tom Price, as Secretary of Health and Human Services. His second in command, Governor Mike Pence, is a well-documented privatization proponent. We can’t count on Mr. Trump to protect current and future Social Security beneficiaries.
There is no question the struggle will be harder than it was in 2005. The political climate is more hostile. The forces aiming to destroy our treasured social insurance programs are more insidious. The stakes are higher. But we can protect Social Security and Medicare and keep them solvent for the future without cutting benefits for millions of Americans if we organize, mobilize, and make our voices heard on Capitol Hill.
Together, we can stop this war on the working class
On a day like today, you might be feeling a need to do something more. If you read the headlines, then you know that Donald Trump has not made a single appointment that can be characterized as friendly to Medicare. In fact, the people he has put forth to lead in areas that impact Medicare and Social Security seem bent on destroying these programs. What do you do when it appears that the full weight and authority of the Executive Branch is against you and against programs that provide essential support for those you love
Here are some ideas:
Get to know The National Committee to Preserve Social Security an Medicare The National Committee has been doing Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid advocacy since 1982.
Sign this petition to urge congress to stop STOP Bullying Americas Working Class
There are several Medicare and Social Security petitions available. Sign those when you see them and feel free to share a link to them in the comments section.
If having a voice in Washington is something that you feel will aid in the survival of Medicare, then you may want to consider joining The National Committee to Preserve Social Security and Medicare
http://www.aarp.org/ is another organization that advocates for Social Security and Medicare. You may know of other advocacy groups. If so, please share a link in the comments section. The Republican party has made it abundantly clear that it intends to dismantle Social Security and Medicare. They control the House, the Senate and the White House. We need all the friends and allies we can gather to say #HandsOffMedicare.
President-elect Donald Trump promised to protect Social Security and Medicare during the election, but if his pick for director of the Office of Management and Budget is any indication, that will be another promise that he won’t keep.