Hear Me Well:
Without health care reform, slashing Medicare benefits will be Congress’s next step.
The reason Time Goes By is able to publish Saul Friedman's excellent Reflections column twice a month is that he and I met last year as recipients of the Media Excellence Award from the National Committee to Preserve Social Security and Medicare.
The NCPSSM is an advocacy organization and, yes, a lobby group that seeks to “protect, preserve, promote, and ensure the financial security, health, and the well being of current and future generations of maturing Americans” and to develop better-informed citizens and voters through educational services about the two vitally important federal programs in their name.
By nature, I am suspicious of all political and advocacy organizations; I scrutinize them carefully. While I was writing the 20-odd part series on Social Security in 2004 and 2005, when President Bush was trying to privatize it, I found myself relying heavily on NCPSSM and they never failed me, providing facts, hard information and well-reasoned opinion.
So my support today of their newest project is based on long familiarity with the important work they do and not just because they were smart kind enough to give me an award. These are people you can trust.
Their new project is called the Truth Squad. Factcheck.org and similar organizations do good work ferreting out lies, dis- and misinformation, but they are necessarily diffuse. The NCPSSM Truth Squad specifically targets the health care debate in setting the record straight.
This is crucial because one of the critical points missing in all the shrill town hall meetings - and more civilized commentary too - is that if system-wide health care costs are not reigned in, Medicare cannot continue.
What many elders opposed to health care reform (and some who support it) do not understand is that Medicare has a big, fat target on its back. With public concern over trillion-dollar deficits, Medicare is the first choice of Republicans, right-wingers and others for spending cuts. An added incentive is that these are the same people who have been trying to kill Medicare (and Social Security) since the inception of these programs.
And even without such attacks, rising health care costs are a dire threat to the government’s ability to continue Medicare. So hear.me.well again:
Without reform, slashing Medicare benefits will be Congress’s next step.
In all our discussions here and elsewhere about reform, we keep asking what we can do. Individually, not much. But collectively, we can be heard and the NCPSSM Truth Squad has created a bunch of tools for us to make it as easy as possible to speak up and to continue to speak up to Congress.
First there is the badge. You will notice that I have replaced our Elderbloggers for Health Care Reform bad in the right sidebar with the Truth Squad badge linking to their project page on the NCPSSM website.
To add it to your blog, right click on the image, save it to your hard drive, place it on your blog and link it to this URL:
Here is what you get at Truth Squad:
A Legislative Action Center where letters will be automatically emailed to your representative and senators. There is a pre-written message you can use, edit or replace with your own. Use it today and keep using it. Flood Congress with your messages, thoughts and opinions.
The Truth Squad Tool Kit with links to NCPSSM policy documents (facts) and blog posts on aspects of health care reform, and outside links to other vetted, truthful information. You can also subscribe to email updates on the project from this page.
A place to share your Medicare story with NCPSSM. It is ammunition for the organization when they speak with members of Congress, testify at congressional hearings and talk to the media. The more stories they have, the better for the campaign for reform.
And there is this video, the first of more to come [1:22 minutes]:
NCPSSM does not sell insurance, products or offer senior discounts. Founded by James Roosevelt, the son of FDR, it is non-partisan non-profit with a 26-year history of protecting Medicare and Social Security from those whose goal is to chip away at them and ultimately to destroy them.
This is one organization elders can support with confidence. The more of us who do, the more clout the NPCSSM has. So post your badge today, start using those links and tell your blog readers. If you can afford a donation, you can do so at this page.
At The Elder Storytelling Place today, George Baker: I Am a Leader