Why do Republicans hate elderly Americans, at least those who aren’t millionaires? Republicans in Congress want to make life harder for our elderly by attacking Social Security and Medicare.

Republicans want to cut Social Security benefits by $102 billion over the next decade. Their scam: Shifting to a “chained” consumer price index. It assumes that, as prices go up, people will shift to “lower cost” alternatives … as if the poor haven’t already done that.

Because the adjustment is cumulative, after 20 years an 85-year-old retiree would lose $984 a year. Pocket change to the wealthy, but a terrible blow to those Americans who are already barely getting by.

Let’s cut Medicare by raising the eligibility age to 67. Who cares if it costs those 65 and 66 (or their employers) a lot more money for health insurance?

Who cares if Medicare rates increase for those 67 and over, since healthier 65 and 66 year-olds won’t be in the mix?

Who cares if increases in longevity (the Republicans’ excuse) are much higher among the wealthy than among the working poor?

Let’s keep cutting payments to Medicare providers, so that the elderly will have ever fewer choices for decent medical care … unless they’re rich.

Let’s not do anything that would actually save money in the Medicare program without harming the elderly. No government negotiations to lower Medicare drug prices.

No government Medicare supplemental programs to replace the dozens of private for-profit plans.

Above all, let’s not do anything to shore up funding for both Social Security and Medicare by taxing all income, both earned and unearned, to support them.

If Republicans get their way, most Americans will be left to fend for themselves once their “productive” years are over.

The American Dream.

John R. Merrill

Augusta

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