No more Texas governors for president

“Next time I tell you someone from Texas should not be president of the United States, please pay attention.” - Molly Ivins
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Posts tagged "seniors"
I’d just like to talk about specifically why raising the Medicare age is a very bad idea. … Really what it is is just a shift of cost from the federal government to employers, seniors, and states. And in fact — because Medicare is cheaper per beneficiary — it’s actually increasing cost. So a president who ran on lowering national healthcare cost — it was one of the reasons why we have the Affordable Care Act — if he does this, it’s actually going to increase the cost for everybody, it will raise national health expenditures and will cut off hundreds of thousands of seniors. And those seniors are the hardest to insure, so you’re actually raising the cost of the Medicare program, you’re shifting cost to employers because they’re going to have to cover some of these people, and it’s actually making us less competitive.
Center for American Progress President Neera Tanden on raising the Medicare eligibilty age, which has been floated as one of the possible deficit reduction proposals that may be included in a compromise between Republicans and President Obama. (via upwithchris)



Libraries: Linking Seniors in a Digital World

The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation recently profiled the Houston Public Library and other libraries in a series of wonderful videos about the unique services being offered in each library. Each ends with the statement Investments in libraries are working. I couldn’t agree more! Please watch these videos and share with your friends so that they might reach someone who is still wondering what the purpose of libraries is today. 

One more time for emphasis: Investments in libraries work.

I’ve put forward a detailed plan that allows us to make [investments in economic recovery] while reducing our deficit by $4 trillion over the next decade. Now, I’m open to compromise and new ideas. But I refuse to accept any approach that isn’t balanced. I will not ask students or seniors or middle-class families to pay down the entire deficit while people making over $250,000 aren’t asked to pay a dime more in taxes. This was a central question in the election. And on Tuesday, we found out that the majority of Americans agree with my approach – that includes Democrats, Independents, and Republicans.

President Barack Obama, in his first weekly address after the election. (via quickhits)


(via quickhits)

Newsweek might need reminding that they lost a large chunk of their readership today, particularly those without consistent computer access or any computer access. This includes those who are homeless or low-income, seniors, folks who didn’t grow up learning how to use computers, etc. Not everyone sits on their iPad and reads Newsweek. People still rely on print. Can we stop shitting on these people? The all-digital future isn’t happening right this second.

Tumblr user salsajorts, reminding the world that not everyone is on the internet yet, even if it seems the case sometimes. (via shortformblog)

Needs to be said.

(via guardiancomment)

Yeah. My parents are among the iPad-, ebook reader-less.

(via guardiancomment)


Florida Seniors Talk Medicare With The President

“I had a wonderful breakfast with two retired couples over at Cocoa, Gerry and Jan and John and Shirley … After a lifetime of work, they’ve been able to save enough to have a comfortable retirement, but that’s only because Medicare is there, rock-solid for them; only because we have made that commitment that says if you work hard all your life, then you should have some basic security—not to live lavishly, but to know that it’s going to be there for you.”

As part of his post-convention bus tour through Florida, President Obama sat down with a few Florida seniors to talk about their Medicare—then he took his message to the crowd in Melbourne, Florida.

Read More

On Fox News Sunday, Romney adviser Ed Gillespie tried to address the conundrum. “There are other reforms as well. As you know Governor Romney supports increasing over time bringing the Medicare eligibility age in line with the Social Security retirement age.”

But raising the Medicare eligibility age is a benefit cut, and implementing the increase before 2016 would violate Romney’s pledge to leave the program unchanged for people between ages 55 and 65.

Avik Roy, an outside health care adviser to the Romney campaign, admits that committing to billions of dollars in higher Medicare spending in the near-term will make it difficult for Romney to achieve its separate goal of reducing overall federal spending to modern lows. But he notes that Romney could make up the difference elsewhere in the budget or, by “mak[ing] other changes to the Medicare program, such as increased means-testing, that don’t alter the program’s basic structure.”

Further means-testing of Medicare would amount to a benefit cut to current seniors.

These admissions rest on top of the fact that by repealing the Affordable Care Act, Romney would wipe out new Medicare benefits included in the law. Repeal would result in higher payments to doctors and hospitals, and the restoration of overpayments to insurers participating in Medicare advantage. But for beneficiaries, it would re-open the Medicare prescription drug donut hole and eliminate coverage for preventive services and annual checkups that the ACA created.

(via quickhits)



Ryan’s selection has prompted questions whether Romney has “given up” on attracting Latino voters.


Simmering doubts about Mitt Romney’s desire to appeal to Latino voters arose again this weekend after the presumptive GOP presidential nominee selected Rep. Paul Ryan as his vice presidential running mate.

Most of the backlash against the Ryan pick has centered on his budget plan, specifically its efforts to slash entitlement programs such as Medicare, Medicaid, and food stamps in order to cut the federal budget deficit.

Read More

Add this to seniors on the list of voting groups Paul Ryan is scaring off.

I’ve seen a lot of talk about how Ryan shores up the Tea Party base for Romney, but they’re nowhere near enough to win an election. So far, it’s looking like Ryan’s loses more than he brings.

Seriously, who’s he bring who would’ve voted for Obama? No one. Mitt’s behind in the polls right now, he has to poach voters from Obama, not drive them away.

And this has been another episode of Republicans suck at math.

Tell me again why this is bad? :)

Tell me again why this is bad? :)


Finally, a Google for Grandma

Internet usage, studies have suggested, can improve older people’s mental and emotional wellbeing. And yet, for many seniors, the shiny machines sitting on their kids’ or grandkids’ desks (or in their hands, or on their laps) are just that — machines, foreign and cold. Nearly 80% of all Americans, Pew says — and nearly 80% of all baby boomers — use the Internet; only 42% of seniors do.

The digital divide, in other words, has a corollary: the generational divide. […]

So it’s both ironic and fitting that the young company that made its name simplifying the web is now trying to bring that simplicity to the web’s oldest users. In a pilot program at its Dublin offices, Google has rolled out classes that pair up older people with (generally, much younger) Googlers, providing instruction on everything from email-sending to photo-uploading to searching for information to, in general, navigating a not-always-intuitive Internet.

Read more. [Image: Cambridge Community Television]

(via libraryjournal)

When a mother gets sick, the whole family hurts. This attack on women’s health affects all of us.

Over the last two years, through budget cuts and political maneuvering, Rick Perry has denied hundreds of thousands of women access to basic healthcare services.

First he signed a budget that slashed $73 million dollars in funding for family planning and women’s health — money that provides cancer screenings, well-woman care, annual check-ups, and helps prevent unwanted pregnancies. Next, Perry’s Texas chose to exclude Planned Parenthood from the state’s Medicare Women’s Health Program, thus ending our state’s participation in the program, which provided $9-to-$1 matching Federal funds for basic women’s healthcare. Bowing to public pressure, Perry pledged to fund the program with state money, at the expense of Texas senior citizens and children.

Our Governor has no problem using Texas women and children as collateral damage in his efforts to score political points and remain relevant to the national Republican base.

Texas Democrats are fighting back. The Lone Star Project has put together the following video that reminds us of the real human costs of these budget cuts: the mothers, daughters, wives, and sisters of Texas that will be denied regular check-ups, denied cancer screenings, denied healthcare when they need it most. Take a look.

From NPR:

Here are just a few of the questions a complete declaration of unconstitutionality might raise:

  • Five million seniors have gotten rebates for their prescription drugs. More than 360,000 small businesses are getting tax credits for providing health insurance to their workers. Will all these people have to give that money back?
  • Almost every state, including many that have sued to block the health law, has received millions of dollars to start planning to put the law into effect. Will they have to give that money back? And will people in those states being paid with those dollars lose their jobs?
  • About 50,000 people are enrolled in temporary “Pre-Existing Condition Insurance Plans” for those who were previously uninsured for at least six months. If the law is declared invalid, that program would very likely have to shut down in fairly short order, leaving those people once again uninsured.
  • There is also some reason to think the law’s disruption could interfere with the operations of the Medicare program for the elderly. The health law made a lot of changes to the way Medicare works and pays doctors and hospitals and health plans. The regulations spelling out this year’s payment rates were based on the health law being in place. So if the law is struck down, there’s a possibility that Medicare couldn’t pay any claims until officials go back through the entire rule-making process — which, by law, takes several months.
  • In some cases the federal government would simply lose the ability to enforce rules. So things that are now required would simply become options. For example: The 2.5 million young people on their parents’ health plans are covered by insurance contracts. They’re probably OK, at least until the end of the plan year, although the federal law requiring that coverage would cease to be in effect. That would be the same for most of the insurance changes, such as restrictions on annual limits insurance companies can impose. But if the law is struck down, after the plan year ends, insurers would be free to reimpose the old rules.


Most candidates promise to do something great, even historic, on their first day in office.

But this year’s Republican presidential candidates are oddly and singularly focused: They’d all repeal Obamacare on Day One, and take our health care system right back to where it was.

These candidates apparently don’t care who would lose services, pay more, or instantly find themselves uninsured, because they’ve all placed their bets on this promise getting them into the White House.

What would repeal of the health care reform law mean to you?:

  • Cheaper drugs for seniors in the doughnut hole REPEALED
  • Coverage for children with pre-existing conditions REPEALED
  • Free access to preventative services REPEALED
  • Women won’t have to pay more than men REPEALED
  • Protection from insurance company abuses REPEALED
  • Being a woman won’t be a pre-existing condition REPEALED
The best way to stop them? Donate to the Two Term Fund:


The short take (specifics at the link):


In other words, a perfectly Republican plan. More trickle down nonsense from the party that brought you the Great Economic Meltdown of 2008.


President Obama’s health care law is making health care more affordable for millions of Americans—from offering savings on prescription drugs and preventive care to cracking down on insurance company abuses.

Today, your insurance company has to justify any rate hike of 10 percent or more in front of a state or federal rate review program.

54 million Americans received expanded access to free preventive services, like checkups, vaccines, and cancer screenings.

Over half of all insurance plans used to put lifetime limits on coverage. Now, 105 million Americans no longer have lifetime caps on their insurance policies.


President Obama’s health care law is making health care more affordable for millions of Americans—from offering savings on prescription drugs and preventive care to cracking down on insurance company abuses.

  • Today, your insurance company has to justify any rate hike of 10 percent or more in front of a state or federal rate review program.

  • 54 million Americans received expanded access to free preventive services, like checkups, vaccines, and cancer screenings.

  • Over half of all insurance plans used to put lifetime limits on coverage. Now, 105 million Americans no longer have lifetime caps on their insurance policies.