The stakes couldn’t be higher. For low-income older adults, the outcome of this election is likely to be more significant than any in recent memory. The very future of health care and economic security for the nation’s seniors is on the line. Medicare, Social Security and Medicaid are all in the political spotlight.
Just about everyone understands that health care costs are out of control and that this impacts Medicare. And, most young people believe, as the result of an endless barrage of misleading propaganda over the years, that at some distant in the future, Social Security will encounter serious problems meeting its commitments to future retirees and people with disabilities.
However, some of the solutions being debated today would mean the undoing of Medicare and Medicaid, replacing them with an unproven private sector or by giving states the power to erase benefit programs for some of the neediest people in our society. Some proposed policy changes under consideration would also make life more difficult for those who depend on the Supplemental Security Income (SSI) program for their economic survival. Still others would impose significant reductions in the Social Security benefits that most older Americans rely on for the great majority of their income, with the greatest impact to be felt by those who will retire several decades from now.
While the courts do not generally figure in campaign advertising, debates, or news we see, read or hear, we know that who is appointed to the Supreme Court or the federal bench matters greatly in terms of protecting the rights of those with little or no voice.
We urge advocates for the elderly and the poor to vote as if the lives of your clients depended upon it. It’s that serious an election.