Thoughts on Seniors & Medicare

My parents are in great health overall. Thank goodness. Lately, I have been thinking about seniors and health. Today, seniors get Medicare, it is easy enough, everyone gets it… it is something that you have the right to get, because you  have worked your whole life and you have put in the years and it is only right that now they can relax  and not have one more thing to worry about (in theory, because there are still other things to worry about, like the cost of prescription drugs!)

Insurance is a very tricky thing—I worry every time I need something, thinking that if I haven’t read my benefits carefully enough; I am going to end up with a bill. Imagine for a 70, 80 or 90 year old. There are politicians that want to throw people like my parents into the insurance world, to fend for themselves. Luckily, my parents have me, and I can help them navigate whatever they need to, but not everyone is as lucky. Many parents have children who live far away, who cannot be present for whatever reason, some older adults do not have any children. Some people live in nursing homes, who is going to help them make these decisions? To make sure they purchase the type of insurance that will cover everything? Who is going to pick up the bill when private insurance companies find loopholes that deny certain coverage to seniors? Who is going to explain what the different types of insurances are? 

Someone on TV said the other day… “we compare and shop around for everything… why not insurance?” well… for starters… we are talking about health, not some commodity you can bargain with. We are talking about people’s lives, not television that is easily replaced.

I am a Democrat, and i believe that having insurance and Medicare are (among other things) rights that we have as citizens. Even if you are not a Democrat, if you are an Independent, ask yourself what kind of country you want to live in? One that leaves it older adults out on a limb? What kind of retirement do you want to have? One where you have to spend the bulk of your income on health insurance, prescription drugs, copayments, deductibles? Don’t you want to have one less thing to worry about? We should support seniors… Many have fought for our freedoms, raised children, worked at home and outside the home, worked in factories, farms, etc… do they not deserve a worry-free retirement,  to be able to enjoy “the golden years”?  

I love my parents. I want them to live many, many years. I want them to live with dignity, and to have decent healthcare, one which they will not have to worry about (one that I will not have to worry about.) Maybe your parents aren’t around anymore, so you think this doesn’t pertain to you!  If you are young and you think this isn’t your issue… not true… one day you too will be old!  Maybe you have so much money that it doesn’t really matter to you, because you can afford whatever healthcare costs come your way… but things can change in the blink of an eye! Don’t forget that! Those seniors that invested with Bernie Madoff… they thought they were rich too… at least today they have Medicare, might be different for you if Republicans get their way.

 This is one of the many reasons I am voting for Obama in November. 

Diana Limongi
Diana a mom, activist, nonprofit professional, podcaster and writer from Queens, NY. She writes about motherhood, activism, raising my multilingual kids, culture and travel. She and her multicultural family live in Queens, NY.

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