I love my grandparents: Romney’s ‘47 percent’ remarks insult America’s seniors

Kynslie Otte

Mitt Romney’s comments, that the 47 percent of Americans who do not pay federal income taxes are dependent upon government and believe they are victims, insult many college students and elderly Americans living on a fixed income, such as myself and my grandparents.

Romney’s campaign has accused Obama of laying the groundwork to ration Medicare for seniors, yet Romney’s plan is to end Medicare as we know it.

Medicare, the most efficient health care system in the world, is paid for by withholding taxes that all working Americans pay, regardless of whether or not they are part of the 53 or 47 percent.

Romney has gone back and forth over the past several months about what exactly he plans to do to with healthcare if elected president, but his attitude toward seniors proves to be unwavering.

Romney plans to create Medicare vouchers, or as he calls it, a “premium support system,” that would provide a fixed amount of money used to purchase private insurance.

This means elderly people who cannot afford the full cost of private insurance will have very few options.

Romney’s plan for reform is inspired by his running mate, Paul Ryan.

Ryan’s primary objective is to stop Medicare from raising the national deficit by shifting costs from the government to seniors and the disabled.

Obama has claimed the average Medicare recipient will save $5,000 over the next decade because of the Affordable Care Act. Obama argues Ryan’s plan would increase seniors’ health care costs by $6,400 per year.

This plan for reform does not immediately affect my generation, so why care?

After all, Romney and Ryan have boasted their plan won’t affect those over age 55.

The answer why younger generations should care is simple. The elderly in our society have paid their dues, and not just in monetary terms.

Some, like my grandfather, have lived through multiple wars, economic depressions and dealt with horrible inflation. My grandparents do not deserve to be penalized simply because they are elderly and more susceptible to health issues.

If it weren’t for my grandparents, I would not be the person I am today. For the last 22 years, my grandparents have given me food, shelter, clothing and most importantly, the opportunity to receive a college education. If it weren’t for them, I would probably be flipping burgers somewhere, living paycheck to paycheck.

Though it is unlikely that everyone’s grandparents have been as helpful as mine, the elderly still shouldn’t be swept under the rug.

My grandfather is now nearly 80 years old, and his health is not as vigorous as it once was. He is required to take multiple medications daily to balance his cholesterol, to maintain his digestive system and blood levels, etc. Without the help of Medicare, the cost of his monthly prescriptions would be astronomical.

Under ObamaCare, my grandparents do not have to worry about paying for private insurance to cover the cost of my grandfather’s medication. They will be covered, no matter how much of a “liability” my grandfather may be to private insurance companies.

How will this affect future generations of seniors? My grandparents’ health benefits would be tossed out the window, as would a large chunk of their Social Security income if Republicans succeed in privatization. Both of my grandparents are retired, and my grandfather is too old to go back to work to cover the additional costs Romney’s health care plan would incur.

Romney’s plan for reform is unfair to the elderly generation, and I will not stand idly by while the Republican Party attempts to put the weight of the nation on my grandparents’ shoulders.   I love my grandparents.

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