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Cutting costs cannot be at expense of our future

Congressman Bill Johnson has been touring our area with Congressman Paul Ryan, architect of the Ryan Budget, a bill Congressman Johnson has voted in favor of twice.

This vote will take drastic steps to cut the Medicare guarantee that many of our seniors in the Ohio River Valley depend upon. How is this putting the thoughts and concerns of your district first?

The Ryan Budget would force 9,800 seniors back into the Medicare Part D ‘donut hole’ on the first day. Costing these seniors $96 million dollars in additional prescription drug costs of a 10-year period. The seniors of our area don’t have this kind of money, how will they pay for these increased costs?

Seniors who have paid into Medicare with a lifetime of hard work deserve to know they’ll receive the benefits they’ve earned. But, at every opportunity, Johnson and House Republicans have chosen to protect tax breaks for billionaires rather than Medicare for seniors.

We need to reduce spending and get the deficit under control, but we have to do it the right way. Cutting Medicare and protecting millionaires is not right.

Douglas Scott



Seniors must be concerned about Romney, Ryan plan

I have heard Paul Ryan and Mitt Romney say that no changes will be made to Medicare for seniors and those 55 and older. But the question that hasn’t been answered is, what will seniors do when Medicare funds run out as a result of the changes they want to make?

While the change to a voucher system may not immediately affect seniors, I understand that it would mean that young people would be contributing less to the Medicare trust fund.

What happens to seniors when the trust fund runs out, as soon as 2016? Will we then receive vouchers? Will insurance companies still be required to take on those with preexisting conditions? What rates will seniors pay for private insurance? How will we make up the difference between the voucher and the cost of this insurance?

I have been retired for 12 years and won’t be working again. I rely on Medicare and Social Security, and the idea that these programs could be privatized makes me fear for my livelihood. I know a lot of people in Ironton are in the same position.

We have worked all our lives and been guaranteed some security in retirement. We aren’t moochers, or victims, or dependent on government for any reason other than that we were compelled to pay into Social Security and Medicare.

If Romney and Ryan are elected, will they just leave seniors in the cold? What will happen if we lose these benefits?

Bernard Hackworth