Protecting Health And Retirement Security For All Americans And Future Generations

Apr 20, 2011 Issues: Healthcare

A recent letter to the editor, “New era for Medicare, Medicaid,” appearing in the Centre Daily Times on April 18, claimed Republicans “voted to end Medicare and Medicaid as we know them.” This quote, taken directly from the President’s speech on April 15th, could not be further from the truth.  According to FactCheck.org, a University of Pennsylvania - Annenberg Public Policy Project, the President went too far in his critique of the Republican plan. The non-partisan Congressional Budget Office has also stated that unless we refine these programs, Medicare will become insolvent in 2022. This means, those who’ve paid taxes all their lives will receive nothing but a broken promise, unless we act.  As a health care professional for over 28 years including having served as a member of the Medicare Technical Expert Panel, I know the importance of protecting Medicare and Medicaid.  In 2010, President Obama claimed that long-term deficit reforms would not be possible if one party claims the other is “being irresponsible” or “trying to hurt senior citizens”.  I agree.  Now it’s time for a fact-based discussion about the challenges we face and the steps necessary to improve our current fiscal situation to ensure these critical programs remain solvent for current and future generations.