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Should you be Concerned About Politics?

In prior issues of this newsletter and in various newspaper articles, I have written about the need for older Americans to become more politically involved. That may be as simple as going to the voting booth. It may mean contributing money to someone running for office. It may mean writing letters. Whatever your level of comfort, I encourage you to become politically involved and find out which candidates will be supportive of issues favorable to older Americans.

Older Americans are becoming the largest voting segment of our society. As such, we need to stand up for our rights. We need to determine how a politician stands on those rights and issues that are dear to us.

Is it important to you to have affordable health care? Do you want your Medicare benefits rolled back? Do you want Medicare to cost you more money?

Do you want your community to have seniorrelated events? Are the facilities in your community senior-friendly – can you get in and out of buildings safely? Are there healthcare services in your area? Are you concerned about funding for your community hospital? Are there social services available in your area, such as Senior Companion, Meals-on-Wheels, and Home and Community-Based Services? Is there affordable dental care? Is there transportation? Are there services available in your community that will allow you to stay in your home longer?

These are all important issues to my clients.

There is great news. For the first time since the year 2000, a tentative budget agreement was reached on Tuesday, May 13, 2008, that did not contain cuts in Medicare or Medicaid. The budget specifically rejected the current Administration’s proposal to reduce spending for Medicare by $178 billion and spending for Medicaid by $17 billion. The proposed budget would create a balanced budget by the year 2012 – without cutting programs that so affect our older Americans. Hurray for the change in direction!

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