Happy 84 years, Millie Garfield
It's Elders For Health Care Reform Day

Tomorrow is Elders For Health Care Reform Day

category_bug_politics.gif Wow. The response from Time Goes By readers since the announcement of Elders For Health Care Reform Day on 20 August – tomorrow - is fantastic. Many have already posted stories and have been doing so repeatedly since this debate began. Many questions about 20 August have arrived by email. Elders in European countries will be joining in too.

Jan Adams of Happening Here, who is a career political activist, has posted stories at other points around the web about 20 August drawing interest in tomorrow's project from outside the elder blogosphere – which, of course, is the point.

As I noted in my post announcing the project, I am personally embarrassed by the high number of ignorant, uninformed elders at town hall meetings with their fact-free screechings. The now infamous statement of one - “Keep your government hands off my Medicare” - amused me at first. I don't find it funny anymore; it's pathetic and worse, allows anyone who wants to, to believe old people are idiots.

That attitude leads to increased granny bashing as in an Op-Ed in Monday's New York Times in which someone named Richard Dooling denies supporting euthanasia while calling for a cutoff of all ICU treatment at age 85. As if no one should live a day longer.

Tomorrow, I will take on one small area of reform – the public plan, which seems to be losing ground. Without it, reform will be meaningless.

But my main job tomorrow will be to collect, collate and promote all the other posts from elders supporting health care reform. Here is what you need to do:

  1. Post your story on your blog

  2. Navigate here to Time Goes By and click on “Contact” link in the upper left corner of the page

  3. In the email form, send me the following information:
    • The name you want to appear as author
    • The title of your story
    • The name of your blog
    • The link to your story

Give your story a specific title that tells readers what it is about. Remember to check your facts and link to your sources. Avoid scare tactics and name-calling. Raise the questions and concerns you have about the draft reform bills from Congress and the commentary from legislators, pundits and the public without rancor or hostility. We are not the town hall nitwits.

And don't shy away from personal health care stories – those are often the most powerful. Plus, elders have the experience of having lived with private coverage and Medicare for comparison that younger people don't yet have.

Throughout the day as the emails arrive, I will add links to all your posts within my post. Keep them coming all day; this project will live beyond Thursday.

Now. Many readers of Time Goes By and other elderblogs do not themselves keep blogs. If that is so, you can participate too by leaving your stories, opinions and thoughts in support of health care reform in the comments below the main story tomorrow. Do not be concerned with length – that's an advantage the internet has over print: space is limitless.

It has already become a kneejerk reaction for reporters on television, the internet and in print to preface their reports on town hall meetings and other reform events by noting that participants are mostly old people. Their references are sometimes snide and dismissive as they point out the ignorance on display and the raucous nature of the gatherings.

I want to believe those elders are a tiny minority. Let's show the internet world tomorrow why we believe all citizens should have coverage at least as good as the Medicare we enjoy.

At The Elder Storytelling Place today, Florence J. Anrud: Providence


Mornin' Ronni,
Bulk e-mailed, copied on my blog then
Posted on Facebook as
Not pullin' the plug
pass it on

What a paradigm shift it would be if those overwhelmed, desensitized, jammed and converted through deception could be reversed with reality-truth-honesty-Common Good Sense.

Chit with ya',

Peter Lott Heppner

As a Canadian, I feel blessed to be covered by medicare. I can't believe how much it costs for the average American to have affordable health coverage.

Too many people are going bankrupt because they can't afford their health care premiums.

As a retired teacher, I paid a one time fee of $50 to remain a full member of my union, which includes excellent health coverage including when I travel.

True, I am no expert on USA health plan, and hesitate to stick my Canadian (we're your best friends, according to Obama.) nose in here, but believe in the power of this elder blog.

When I read about the lack of coverage for so many Americans, I am disappointed.

I don't get why some in the USA are afraid of what we get here.

At the same time, I realize Canadians do have wait times for certain procedures.

If I need to see a doctor, I simply go to any walk in clinic nearby and wait. I also bring a book, because I might sit for an hour, but I do get seen. Then I hand over my medicare card and Bob's your uncle.

I have an excellent GP, gynecologist, and am comfortable with our system.

Check this:

An article in Maclean's magazine, page 14, August 24th edition is an interview with Theodore Roszak about how the boomers will have one more kick at the can.

Some quotes:

Author Theodore Roszak on the boomers final revolution, the female caregiver as a radical force, old drivers and the end of sex.

"How will this shift in social consciousness begin to shake out?"

(Roszak replies...)

"Well, once again the demographic weight is going to force people to think differently, even if they start off with a very negative attitude-which is generally the attitude we have toward aging. But you're going to have to put up with the fact that we now have a lot of 70 year olds and 80 year olds who are not like your grandparents or great-grandparents. They go on working, they're professionals, they are active. These are not just parasites leaning on the rest of the society. I talk about the experience of being of great economic value, but we've never given it enough weight in our economic thought. And I speak as a historian-this is an unprecedented state of affairs, and so it's new to people, they've never had to think about the demographics of their society in this way."

You compare the coming dissent of these boomer women to historically significant revolts like the storming of the Bastille or the Boston Tea Party.

Roszak replies:

"Yes, because it is so personal; it gets right down into people's most private dreams and hopes of what their life might have been like if they didn't have to become sort of amateurish full-time caregivers."

It's hard to say how widespread it is. When I write about it as I did recently regarding Living Wills, I don't get anybody taking the other side and I do have a few right wing readers. But I have a friend who doesn't read my blog and she buys into the hysteria and nothing I say convinces her-- so far as I can tell. They say (polls proving) that most of this depends on whether your primary news source is Fox News. It always is with those I know who are being fed the lies.

After the healthcare overhaul gets its play on this blog, how about shining the spotlight on the fact that the FDIC is now bankrupt? Your readers need to be informed about the current crisis in banking..namely, the whole damn system is about to come crashing down.

I do hope you post this, even though it does not agree with your political views.

Why do I not trust this government to run a radical overhaul of the health care system? They couldn't even handle "Cash for Clunkers." Think of it: (1) A sizeable percentage of the cars sold are either imported from overseas or made in USA by foreign-owned companies. The most-sold car, a "green" Ford, although bearing the Ford label, is manufactured overseas and then shipped here. So it's not acheiving the stimulus effect to the economy that it's supposed to. (2) The Associated Press has a different list of most-sold cars than the government, and one which is not as "green." You can't have full faith in the government's reports of its success. (3) The AP reports that 18 mpg Hummers and Cadillacs are being bought under the C for C program, so it's designed with loopholes that subvert its intended purpose. (4) Environmental scientists report that its impact on the environment is miniscule. But it still gets good press for its "greenness." (5) They couldn't even predict how much it would cost (one of the complaints about the proposed health care overhaul). One billion wasn't enough -- let's throw another two billion after that. (6) To make up their shortfall, the gov't had to take two billion out of plans to stimulate green businesses. Too bad, that could have been more successful for the environment and for stimulation of the economy. (7) They said they "had to" continue to finance this "popular" program. Popular? You bet -- people are always going to be delighted when they are given free money. As Margaret Thatcher has been quoted, "Socialism works until you run out of other peoples' money to spend."

And now, they want us to RUSH with all possible speed to implement a plan which will cost over a trillion dollars over ten years (or maybe it's six years) and don't want the citizenry (much less all the lawmakers) to have the time to be able to read all the details. And oh, yes, we should trust them to iron out the fine points on the sections which haven't been fully developed. No, I don't trust them at all.

Interesting: you say the media notes that participants are "mostly old people." What are they doing to do when we're all dead and NOBODY shows up?

I agree with Ronni, put personal stories in your blog. I have also primed my Twitter account with information on this and have solicited more people to listen and learn from the list of people on Twitter that are pro-health care reform as well as a bunch of politicos and media people.

It remains to be seen the impact we will make but I think, if as many people who say they are doing this do it, it will be spectacular. By the way, I went to the White House site and posted a link to Ronni's original post calling for this.

It's the PR/Marketing person that is still inside me...and I love it.

Here's to jamming the Internet with facts and stories...go get'em!!

I just ran across this blog and find it incredibly informative. I, myself am actively involved in aging and longevity issues and would like to refer a lot of my audience here. It's a great resource and one that compliments my own. Thank you for keeping us all informed!

My $12k reason for supporting health care reform

You bet, I support health care reform! My premiums for a pretty average, not top of the line, but adequate Blue Cross plan were $12,000 last year. That is not a typo.

I am part of a High Risk plan in California that goes back seventeen years and a diagnosis of breast cancer. I lost my job probably because the physican owned company did not want the liability of a high risk employee on the payroll. So, I exhausted COBRA and fortunately was referred to MRMIP (Major Risk Medical Insurance Program) by the American Cancer Society. The irony about this is that I had been declined by Blue Cross for insurance several years before I had a cancer diagnosis. So, while I watched the Clarence Thomas/Anita Hill trials as I recovered from radiation damage to my lungs, no longer employed, I felt lucky to find this insurance with the outrageous premium of $150 per month. I felt lucky that I was able to find insurance at all.

Though I have not had any cancer related health issues since that time, I have been unable to secure a more affordable insurance plan. It feels like being blackmailed and there isn’t a solution. Today, more than $125,000 later in insurance premiums, I’m on the band wagon for health care reform.

Just wanted to let everyone know that Bill Moyers is covering a cool documentary on his PBS show tonight called, "Money Driven Medicine"
It should be really interesting!


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