Legislatures need to protect Medicare

To the editor:

July 30 marks the 57 th anniversary of Medicare. Before Medicare less than half of our nation’s seniors had health insurance, but now 55.5 million people older than 65 plus over 8 million people living with disabilities and more than 1 in 5 living in Goodhue County 65 and older have the health coverage they need.

Remember retired seniors 65 and older paid into the Medicare fund every payday during their working years. Medicare belongs to them.

But I worry that if Florida Republican Senator and former Governor Rick Scott, the current chairman of the National Republican Senatorial Committee (NRSC), gets his way we will reverse the progress we have earned.

Health care security for seniors will come to a crashing halt. Chairman Scott’s proposal, known as his 11-point plan to “Rescue America”, would require Congress to “sunset” or end Social Security and Medicare after 5 years, then vote every five years thereafter on whether to continue the programs.

Do you see anything wrong with that?

A plan like that would (due to compromise between parties) systematically destroy Medicare while raiding it of its funds. Others in the GOP have similar plans. For example, Sen. Linsey Graham (SC) recently reiterated his support for uprooting Medicare altogether through “entitlement reform”.

Keep in mind these Republican leaders, proponents of eliminating Medicare, have special lifetime access to the best health care in the world because of their congressional positions. Retirees, beware: Republicans have declared their intent to cut Social Security and Medicare benefits we have earned over a lifetime if they regain control of Congress.

Rosemary Martin



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