24 October 2008

More on why McCain is no friend to seniors and working families

The Wall Street Journal recently reported that McCain's health care plan would cut Medicare by 22%. He would finance his plan by cutting Medicare and Medicaid by $1.3-trillion dollars over the next ten years.

The Center for American Progress estimates that cuts of this magnitude would eliminate the Medicare prescription drug benefit for 10.2 million low-income seniors already struggling with the worst economic situation since the great depression. McCain's plan, which would for the first time ever tax health care premiums, would be paid for on the back of millions of retirees and those struggling to retire.

Already, retirement plans in the U.S. have lost $2-trillion over the past fifteen months, according to the head of the Congressional Budget Office. The loss, constituting almost 20% of the total value of those plans is indicative of the severity of this crises and of how much of the brunt of it affects seniors and working families.

CBO Director, Peter Orszag, said that 10% of this loss was between mid-2207 and mid-2007 with another 10% hitting just in the brief period of the last three months.

"We have a major retirement crisis in America", said Ruben Burks, Secretary-Treasurer of the Alliance for Retired Americans. He added, "Social Security is more important than ever. It is a mystery to me why, in the face of all this, President Bush and Senator McCain want to gamble away a privatized Social Security on the roulette wheel of the stock market."

This last Monday, a top McCain campaign advisor, Douglas Holtz-Eakin, confirmed McCain's support of means testing for Medicare Part D. Under this plan, wealthier seniors would pay more for premiums for drug coverage, as they do for Part B. Means testing penalizes the middle class and requires higher premiums from better off seniors. The end result is that many seniors would shift their coverage to private insurance coverage or opt into HMOs, leaving behind the sickest and poorest.

Given McCain's philosophical problems with Medicare it becomes very obvious that this is not about means testing at all, but, rather, an attempt to chisel away at the program.

John McCain is an angry, mean old man of immense wealth who has lost whatever scruples or moral rudder he might once have had. He is no friend of seniors and the more people who learn that, the better off we will be once election day. For way too long the Republicans have played a game of Three-Card Monte with older Americans by appealing to their fears and concerns in a rapidly changing world, while working to dismantle the New Deal and its social insurance programs and regulations which guaranteed working families and Older Americans a health and economic safety net and preserved the prospects of a safe, secure and dignified retirement and old age.

Please take a moment and study the last three posts and make a bullet point style cheat sheet so that you are prepared to counter McCain supporters on the issues, which affect us the most.

No excuses--Do it!

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