ELDER MUSIC: Friends
A TGB READER STORY: About a Scent

Trump Wants to Buy Your Vote – Don't Let Him

In recent weeks, polls have shown that presidential candidate Joe Biden is leading President Trump in polls of people 65 and older by double digits. That might have something to do with Trump telling his followers that COVID-19 affects hardly anyone younger than 18, framing

”...the pandemic as largely impacting older Americans, as he argued for school districts to resume in-person learning,” reported AP.

. “'Now we know it affects elderly people with heart problems and other problems,' Trump said. 'If they have other problems, that’s what it really affects. That’s it.'”

That did not sit well with one elder voter in Florida according to AP:

”Trump’s recent remarks made Liz Cillo, a 72-year-old retiree from St. Petersburg, laugh bitterly. 'We’re dispensable. We’re old. I feel as though he’s never showed any empathy or compassion toward us.'”

Trump is flailing in many areas of the voting population but until now, elders have been a mainstay of the Republican Party. So – Trump being Trump – he announced last week that he will attempt to opening purchase votes from old people.

As CNN tells it:

”...President Donald Trump said Thursday -- less than six weeks before the election -- that he will send $200 drug discount cards to 33 million Americans on Medicare.

“The unprecedented move, however, has raised many questions, including how the roughly $6.6 billion in benefits will be funded...

The White House says that the cards will be offset by savings from another of Trump's drug price proposals, which would link the cost of certain Medicare drugs to the price in other countries. But that controversial measure was unveiled in an executive order in mid-September, and it's unclear when it will actually take effect, if ever.”

Translation: The drug card proposal does not exist.

After Trump's announcement on Thursday, the Wall Street Journal reported on Friday that the $200 discount cards

”...will be funded by a Medicare trust fund, an administration official said, using money rarely spent on such pilot programs.

“Medicare is funded by two trust funds held by the U.S. Treasury. The trusts pay for hospital care and administering the federal health-insurance program for seniors and the disabled. They are funded through payroll taxes, income taxes paid on Social Security benefits and other sources.

“The Medicare trust fund that pays for hospital care is expected to become insolvent by fiscal 2024, according to the Congressional Budget Office, two years earlier than projections done before the coronavirus pandemic. The other fund is on more solid financial footing.”

This is crazy. It doesn't not work on any level. It is so bad that even big PhRMA has rejected it:

“The announcement comes after the Trump administration sought to negotiate a similar discount-card program with drug companies, but the drug industry’s main trade group, PhRMA, walked away from the discussions,” reported WSJ.

“'One-time savings cards will neither provide lasting help nor advance the fundamental reforms necessary to help seniors better afford their medicines,” an official at PhRMA said last week.”

It's not even clear to anyone with knowledge that this pay-for-votes ploy is legal.

Should Trump manage to push through this dubious scheme and get it done in time for discount cards to arrive before you vote, what will you do?

Here's what I have planned:

• Secure a sturdy envelope.
• Address it to President Trump at 1600 Pennsylvania, Washington, D.C. NW 20500
• Cut card in half and place in envelope
• Include a note - “You cannot buy my vote”
• Attach enough postage
• Place in local mailbox

Imagine if all 33 million U.S. elders do that.

Comments

I can't wait for Tuesday's debate. It's like the first game of the World Series, the Stanley Cup, The NBA playoffs and a professional wrestling championship all in one.

How about writing on the unopened letter "Not at this address. Return to Sender".

Then placing the unopened letter in a mailbox (if they still exist!).

I’m in! But I don’t really expect it to happen.
Bruce Cooper, you’ll have to watch it for me. I just can’t stomach listening to the sound of the Orange one’s voice.

That $200 drug card business was absolutely pathetic. I’d cut the card in half too, mail it back & tell him to stick it where the sun doesn’t shine. He is downright PATHETIC.

I hate the sound of his voice too, but Bruce summed up tomorrow’s ‘Big Event’ just right. I plan to watch just to see Joe Biden wipe up the floor with him. I wouldn't be surprised if Trump cancels at the last minute. Bullies are usually cowards.

How about returning it and telling him to pay back taxes with it?

I like it! I like it! Off to the post office to buy more stamps....

Not only trying to "buy" our vote but doing it on the cheap as well. $2oo - I'm insulted.
And doing it with our own money at the same time.

Actually, my vote is priceless - it's not for sale.

We all should be insulted that he thinks the older population too stupid to understand what he is doing.

I'm so weary! ...and afraid that we are the choir.

Yes, we are the choir, and all this is rather disconcerting, as I fast this day of Yom Kippur, for any sins I may have committed, I am thinking of how some may take all of this and justify it, which is just beyond the pale.
Saw through the drug card idea, and the taxes, just not so sure how the Senate and much of the house will deal. G-d bless you all, and Ronni, thank you for hanging in here with us, love and compassion, your way. May your life be remembered as a blessing, to all of us. m

I found details somewhere about this purported drug card. It’s only for people who do not have any prescription drug insurance. So any of us who have coverage (however meager) are left out.

Not that you can do much with $200 anyway. That’s ridiculous - my co-pay for one drug looks like it might be $400 a month. I’m looking at Abbott financial assistance for it. $200 would pay for half of it for one month. So what would I do for the another 11 1/2 months?

Another example of his complete inability to comprehend how regular people live. What an idiot.

My understanding is that drug costs for Medicare recipients could be substantially lower if Medicare would negotiate with drug companies, as other countries do, in view of the huge market for Medicare members. Why is that being ignored and this silly buy-your-vote proposal put forth.

I’d add a note to the front of the original envelope: “This sender is blocked. “

Since this was written the NYT article has come out reporting (and confirming what many people already believed) on the ridiculously low amount he has paid in taxes for the past several years and the huge looming debt for which he is responsible and which comes due within the next four years. I do not understand the faith that so many people still place in him.

I've commented here previously on the recent deferment of payments that the administration has put on co-pays for veterans' medical costs since March or April, but the lack of communication about what those will mean at some future time. Will they be paid back, how quickly and over what period of time? My husband has not received the bills that we used to get monthly (which always vary and we don't know what they will be until we receive them) in about 6 months now. All we've been told by the VA -- and that only after asking, there's never been a letter announcing this or the plan for repayment. If veterans get billed for the total all at once and have to pay it within a short period of time, it could create countless hardships. I have contacted our Congressional representative who is very big on veteran benefits and just received a form to fill out and send back to her repeating the details I included in the email sent a couple of weeks ago. All I need is a relatively simple answer to a relatively simple question, but now I have another page of information to fill out and send to the Representative. I have little patience for anything political any longer.

I see I omitted the end of one sentence which should have said that all we've been told is that this is a deferment from the administration and that it will probably last until at least January. That's it, and that only verbally, we've never received any written explanation.

I think Carol above has it. Trump constantly complains about the cost of drugs in the US compared to in Europe as if that is somehow that is Europe's fault. It isn't of course. The real issue is the Balkanised nature of US health care (and much of the rest of the US public sector to be honest) The NHS in the UK for example gets a good price for most drugs because it negotiates collectively. If the US got its act together the buying power would be enormous. So far as I can see though too many Americans have bought into the lies about so-called government control of health care or 'socialised medicine' or 'death panels'. for that to have any traction.

Until the people of the US wake up to their broken health care system, people like Trump will exploit it for their benefit.

Nice response, Ronnie. It's preemptive theft from us all, of course. Yet another way to bring down Medicare.

It has to be these cards, because that way recipients will know they came from HIM. Except that the SS system is completely incapable of delivering such cards as we found out during the stimulus check episode. Money direct to bank accounts, maybe. But cards -- they might turn up by Christmas.

The Trump regime is both totally criminal and incompetent.

I agree with the comments here, but especially Bob's: $200 is a cheap amount and worse, he would be spending OUR money! And also agree with Carol, about how people can believe the things that he says. Of course, Faux News doesn't report on a lot of actual information, so folks who limit news consumption to that network have a limited understanding of reality. I have informed countless Faux News watchers of Trump's bankruptcies, including explanation of how that hurts American citizens, and am still nonplussed that it's shocking news to them.

The man's insane. 'Nuf said.

Simply write “Delivery Refused — Return to Sender” on the unopened envelope and mail — save your postage money.

What a despicable little man the would-be Emperor of tRumpystan is! This is just one more example.

I'm so tired of daily outrage. He loves our outrage. Feeds on it.
Just read his book. It's all a game with him. He plays with people - gets em all upset. Then finally threatens to sue. By then most people just fold.

It's not right, but it works.

I agree with Joared: Refuse delivery.

"...the law that established Medicare Part D said Medicare cannot interfere with negotiations between health plans and pharmaceutical companies, according to the journal Health Affairs. That means Medicare Part D, by law, cannot negotiate drug prices like other governments do."

His buddies in FL, in cahoots, are ensuring that former felons, who were overwhelmingly given the right to vote by FL voters, cannot vote unless or until they pay a poll tax that they call a debt - tho' they can't say precisely how much each person owes. It's the opposite of buying one's vote but in this charging one to the vote they've been granted. Organizations like WeGotTheVote are fund-raising to ensure that those who were allowed to vote will. What Trump and his enablers don't realize is that not all former felons will vote for Dems! Oh this election! Live for it, Ronni! I'm not sure the lead up to it and it will not kill many of us .. and that it will be a slow death bec the results will take many months to know.

Thank you for using your energy to continue to educate. As some of us use this day of Yom Kippur to pray, we also use it for our activism. Somehow I want to believe all who follow you are working for you to live well enough to want to get through not only this but another election cycle in 2 years.

Blessings on your head.

He's just trying to distract us from his tax's. lol

This relates to prescription drugs, veterans and ageism.

I am a military "dependent," meaning my husband is retired military (21 years, two Vietnam tours). I am 100% aware of how extraordinarily lucky we are to have the privilege of free prescriptions at a military base, should we choose to do that. Please also know I am computer literate since the early 1980's, personally and on the job.

A couple of weeks ago, it took me TWO AND A HALF DAYS to find out what I have to do by year's end to get my prescriptions. It must all be done by my doctor and then by me electronically. I even wrote down the steps for my husband, who has an undergraduate degree in computer science.

I say all this because I have no earthly idea what someone who's a veteran, a spouse, 55 or 85, whatever years old would do. How could anyone navigate this system? It's specifically designed, in my view and experience, to weed out anyone older and without computer skills to get the care entitled to. This is what our U.S. military has come to through the current federal administration.

I love your solutions, Ronni!

I LOVE your comment, Bruce Cooper! Waiting for the first debate also.

Verify your Comment

Previewing your Comment

This is only a preview. Your comment has not yet been posted.

Working...
Your comment could not be posted. Error type:
Your comment has been posted. Post another comment

The letters and numbers you entered did not match the image. Please try again.

As a final step before posting your comment, enter the letters and numbers you see in the image below. This prevents automated programs from posting comments.

Having trouble reading this image? View an alternate.

Working...

Post a comment

Your Information

(Name and email address are required. Email address will not be displayed with the comment.)