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Flashpoint

August 14, 2011

FLASHPOINT: Medicare: 45 years of protecting seniors

July marked the 45th anniversary of the creation of Medicare. For nearly half a century, the Medicare program has provided virtually all American seniors over the age of 65 with affordable, reliable and comprehensive health care coverage.

Medicare also provides seniors with essential financial security, helping ease the burden of skyrocketing health care costs. Since the creation of Medicare, the percentage of seniors living below the poverty line has decreased dramatically, from nearly one-third of all seniors, down to the single digits.

Given Medicare’s success in providing essential health care coverage and financial security to America’s seniors, I am shocked by the actions of our elected officials in Washington, D.C. Instead of fighting to preserve Medicare and protect our nation’s seniors from financial ruin, many members of Congress voted to end Medicare as we know it. Given these tough economic times, with seniors and working families sacrificing so much over the past several years, seniors simply can’t afford to loose their Medicare coverage.

Many residents of the 8th Congressional District are disappointed that Congressman Larry Bucshon supported legislation that would end Medicare as we know it. I’m more than disappointed. I’m furious. I’m furious because Congressman Bucshon has voted not once, but TWICE, to dismantle Medicare as we know it and place the lives of American seniors in jeopardy. I’m even more furious that while Congressman Bucshon and his colleagues in Washington were voting to slash Medicare, they were also supporting tax cuts for millionaires, billionaires, and corporations making record profits.

And to add even more insult to injury, Congressman Bucshon’s vote to protect taxes for the wealthy will add over $5 trillion to the national debt over the next 10 years.

That’s right, under their plan seniors would pay $6,400 more per year for the same health care, while millionaires would pay hundreds of thousands less in taxes, with working families forced to pick up the tab. This is absolutely shameful, and it’s difficult to imagine how Congressman Bucshon could have acted any more recklessly.

We can’t afford the policies of Congressman Bucshon — policies that enrich multi-millionaires on the backs of American seniors. That’s why I’m running for Congress — to give seniors and working families a real voice in Washington. Today, we have a congressman who has clearly demonstrated his refusal to fight for seniors and working families. I’m running for Congress to lead that fight.

Dave Crooks is a small business owner, radio broadcaster, and former state representative. He lives in Washington, Ind., with his wife, Shelley. They have three children, Mackenzie, Jared and Jacob.

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