As further cuts to the budget are being proposed, the idea of raising the age of eligibility for Medicare from 65 to 67 is being discussed in such a way as to seem inevitable, despite studies that show it would not save any money. People are so sick by the time they get Medicare that more money must be spent on advanced disease care. Jump below the squiggle for more discussion. Actually, since I can't jump, please climb down carefully, checking for safe hand and foot holds.
I worked in restaurants for years as a cook and a waitress. My legs are shot. I've got varicose veins, knee and hip issues and a bad grip from carrying plates and using tongs. My husband was a carpenter, construction worker and worked for the Forest Service building trails by hand in wilderness areas. Many of our friends work at wage jobs in factories, hospitals, trim trees for a living or have other blue collar jobs.
My father was an entrepreneur and never worked for an hourly wage. He sat behind a desk and made phone calls, took meetings, went in early and worked late. He kept working past 65 because he still felt great and his mind was sharp. His friends were men just like him that resented the whole idea of retiring at 65.
Unfortunately, the people in Washington making decisions about Medicare eligibility have more in common with my father than they have with me. Do they even KNOW anybody who showers after work instead of before? Do they realize that most workers are barely making it to 65 as it is? Those of us that used our bodies for our working life almost all have health problems by the time we are in our late 50's. We are hanging on, praying that our health insurance doesn't get too expensive and we can get to 65 before anything really bad happens. Are we going to have to work two more years? People who are in pain cut corners when they can. People who are worn out are not as careful, as diligent or as safe as someone healthier. Don't make us wait two more years. Even if I make it, I actually care about the people coming after me. When the Republicans crow that anybody close to retirement age is safe, don't they know we have friends younger than we are and we care about our kids and grandkids? They have the "I've got mine, screw you" attitude. I prefer the "We're all in this together" attitude myself.
Well, we need to tell our representatives that we can't wait two more years to get Medicare and we don't want today's 40 year old waitresses to have to carry those heavy plates for two more years either. All the blue collar workers, the home health care folks, the factory guys, the roofers and loggers, start yelling. Start calling. The old waitresses are watching and you don't wanna make us mad.
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