Yesterday I had a very interesting conversation with a elderly lady. She seemed to be a very nice lady and was very upset about something she had been told. She told me she was worried about Medicare being eliminated. She went on to say she was having trouble sleeping worrying about what she had been told.
I asked the nice lady who told her Medicare was going to be eliminated and she told me a good friend she goes to church with. Being very familiar with what’s going on with Medicare and folks, like Mitch McConnell and Newt Gingrich that want to turn Medicare over to the for profit insurance companies I told the nice lady there are those like Mitch McConnell and Newt Gingrich that want Medicare to wither and die on the vine.
Medicare Advantage was created by Congress with the theory that private insurance companies would be able to manage seniors’ health care more efficiently than the government. It was supposed to save money, in other words. Conservatives pushed for Medicare Advantage as a way to “wean” seniors away from regular Medicare and eventually do away with the original program entirely. Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich liked to brag that Medicare would “wither and die on the vine.”
I had the feeling this nice lady was being misled by her friend at church and I decided to find out in a nice non threatening way and I said “I’m not very happy with Barack Obama”, a true statement because I believe Barack Obama is going out of his way to appease the right, and she said “I don’t think anybody is happy with Barack Obama”. Bingo! I knew then the nice lady was being fed misinformation about what was really going on with Medicare. Knowing a discussion about Medicare and politics would be fruitless I told the nice lady “when it comes to Medicare and or politics don’t believe anything anyone tells you and that includes me. Do your own research and make your decision after researching the facts”. The nice lady said “I don’t have TV to watch or a computer and I depend on my friends at church to tell me what’s going on and I said with a smile in a very non threatening way “that’s the problem”.
This is rural Kentucky and that’s how the political system works here and I suspect that’s how it works in much of rural America. Preachers, Deacons, church friends, the right wing media, Fox, Limbaugh and the billionaires at American Crossroads TV ads and mail-outs are very influential with nice well meaning elderly people and they, the nice well meaning elderly people, reflect that influence when they go to the polls and vote.