BY KAREN WEBB
An open letter to Rep. Tom Cole, Sen. James Inhofe, Sen. Tom Coburn and Rep. Paul Ryan:
I can’t tell you how touched I am by your concern for me and other Baby Boomers. You are so concerned that you think I am loving the idea that you aren’t going to touch my Medicare and you think I don’t care what you do to my baby sister who will be my age in 2022 or my daughter or grandchildren. You really think that I am like the Tea Party people who think that as long as I get guaranteed health care I don’t give a damn about anyone else.
You are as wrong as it is possible to be. I know you must think that by 2022 seniors will no longer have difficulties with the aging process and know one will care anyway. Certainly not you guys.
On a daily basis I deal with my mother-in-law, a very sweet woman, who can’t order her own dinner, nor can she tell you if she wiped herself so I am suspecting that if you gave her a voucher she would be at the complete mercy of people who’s only concern for her is whether or not she will turn them a profit or cost them too much money.
I am 64 and I would have difficulties in the same way I would have difficulties with that gift to the pharmaceutical giants that you call a senior drug plan. You are going to give my sister or my daughter a voucher and empower them by letting them choose from a menu of health care providers. They can pick the one that will best serve their needs; however, if not enough seniors sign on to the same plan then the insurance company will be losing money so they can raise their premiums as high as they choose and my sister or daughter will have to make up the difference from a fixed income.
The insurance company is free to change what they cover. They are able to do this because there will be no oversight on what they can or cannot do to seniors so they can serve the interests of their wealthy stockholders who keep getting tax cuts and never pay their fair share.
There will be no oversight on what can be charged for services for tests and things.
On top of that you want my sister or my daughter to invest part or all of their Social Security in the stock market. The same stock market that bilked so many out of their retirement with toxic mortgage schemes, the same ones you have refused to regulate at all.
One thing Ryan’s plan doesn’t have is a list of corporations or funds that a person can invest in that will give a guaranteed return because I am not into gambling a lot with my retirement or the retirements of any of my younger relatives.
I understand that if I get lucky and actually find an honest stock broker I can make more money than I might get with social security, but Ryan is not guaranteeing a pay-off, even a small pay-off.
If I decide to gamble away my retirement I might as well do it at a casino.
By the way, I understand what happened with the mortgage fiasco just like I understood the savings and loan fiasco in the 1980s and I certainly understood the manipulation of the Enrons and the banking industry.
If there are no regulations, they can do whatever they feel like.
I also am not crazy enough to believe that you can balance a budget if you keep reducing revenues. Money has to come from somewhere. I understand that you believe that someday the guys you keep giving tax breaks to, who keep buying you guys off, will someday create jobs, but they won’t unless the rest of us are willing to do all of the work with salaries and benefits we can’t live on.
I was watching the hearings with Elizabeth Warren and am absolutely astounded that anything that will watch out for consumers must be regulated to death by Congress, but insurance companies, Wall Street and Corporate America need no oversight. Unions, which stand up for the little guy also must be abolished.
I am convinced, because I am not an idiot, that seniors in 2022 and beyond will have the same problems with aging as the rest of us and I am convinced that there never will be a Republican who cares at all for anyone, except their own families and wealthy friends who buy them off with unregulated secret campaign contributions.
– Karen Webb lives in Moore, OK and is a regular contributor to The Oklahoma Observer