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My sister passed away at age 60 last week, following years of suffering with a chronic, incurable disease (systemic scleroderma). She initially became ill and unable to work in her early 50's. She lost everything, had no health insurance, and had to move in with my husband and me. However, she soon qualified for Social Security Disability, followed by early Medicare, which was a godsend. We were also able to find low-income housing and HUD Section 8 assistance for her, so she could move into her own apartment. All of these programs helped my sister to live her final years with peace and dignity.
I told my husband this morning that I take solace in the fact that my sister became ill when she did. At least Social Security Disability, Medicare and other aid programs were there for her. In the future, I'm not so sure. It sickens me to see some Democrats join the debt reduction chorus. What happens to the sick and disabled who are denied benefits, and have no family to help them? As Democrats and Progressives, we must continue to protect the elderly, ill and disabled against false claims of being deadbeats, and vigorously defend SSDI and Medicare.

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