Since I do call Washington, D.C. quite a lot and let Ms. Lummis and our equally low regarded Senators Enzi and Barrasso know what my opinion is, I decided to try calling the local office for Congresswoman Lummis instead. As a public service to anyone who reads this the number is 307-362-4095, here in Rock Springs, Wyoming. I spoke to her office person, Bonnie, and asked her if the congresswoman supports the Paul Ryan plan to demolish Medicare. Well, she said, we don't characterize it quite that way, we like to think it's more like taking medicine for a problem. I said that since Social Security is solvent and Medicare contributions are probably lower now because of the recession, how can there be a problem? She gave me the Republican Party speech about deficits and future generations having to pay for it, you know the drill! Then she told me that I shouldn't worry, because it wouldn't effect me, just future participants, and that the plan probably wouldn't pass anyway. Being good at reading doublespeak, I took that to mean that the whole fuss about the budget by the Tea Party/Republican Party was a big dog and pony show to cater to their base. I specifically asked if the congresswoman supported vouchers for seniors to use for medical insurance, in lieu of Medicare and she agreed that she did.
I bent her ear a little longer and told her to be sure that Congresswoman Lummis was told that not only did I think that was a terrible plan, but that I also thought that playing games with Social Security and Medicare was out of bounds and that those of us who paid into it for all of our working years didn't take to kindly to having them steal from us. She then took my name and address and promised to give her the message. I also asked her to be sure to tell Lummis for me that no senior I knew would ever vote for anyone who messed with Social Security and Medicare and that we didn't appreciate being treated like fools. She said she would, and thanked me for my opinion.
Now, as I've written before, Social Security and Medicare are two of the most successful government programs ever and are funded through payroll deductions. If a person purchases Medicare part B, the premium is withheld from their Social Security benefits, you also have the option to purchase Medicare Part D which partially pays for prescription medicines, so that is an extra monthly cost. Last, but definitely not least, if you want a supplemental insurance that pays the percentage of costs that isn't covered by Medicare, you also pay for that. Incidentally, thanks to the healthcare pushed by President Obama, the Part D Medicare has been improved, and eventually the doughnut hole will be closed. The Medicare Part D was originally passed during the Bush administration, and was a boon for insurance and drug companies, not so much for seniors! Paul Ryan voted for it and so did Barbara Cubin, Lummis's predecessor in Congress.
Here's what I think, the Republicans want to push a government shutdown to give themselves a better chance at reelection and to piss off President Obama, and we seniors are just pawns in their evil little chess game! As a native and current resident of Wyoming, I will try to make sure that everyone I know has as many accurate facts about this issue as I can find! Oh, and if you feel like asking questions for yourself, feel free to call Bonnie at Congresswoman Lummis's office at this number...307-362-4095. Just remember, she wants to abolish Medicare along with her Tea Party/Republican Party cohort Paul Ryan and she's proud of that! We can't let them screw us any more!