by Korey Hartwich | August 03, 2012
AFSCME retirees and allies rally for Medicare in San Diego.
This week we celebrate the 47th birthday of Medicare and Medicaid – two pillars of our nation’s health and economic security that are under attack by presumed GOP Presidential nominee Mitt Romney, right-wing budget architect Rep. Paul Ryan and like-minded politicians in Congress.
Medicare ensures older Americans and individuals with disabilities have access to doctors and hospitals, without the danger of financial ruin in the event of illness, injury or expensive chronic conditions. Medicaid covers people with disabilities, seniors and low-income families.
Americans support Medicare, but rather than honor these vital programs, Romney, Ryan and other right-wing members of Congress are putting their future in doubt. Across the nation concerned citizens, including AFSCME members, are standing up to those who want to put Medicare at risk by forcing seniors to pay more, not the wealthiest Americans and corporations. They also want to dismantle Medicaid.
In California, Rep. Brian Bilbray has supported extending tax cuts for the wealthy, while voting for the Draconian Ryan budget that would slash vital public services like Medicare. That puts the people of San Diego in danger, which is why seniors led by AFSCME rallied Monday at the Mira Mesa Senior Center.
AFSCME Retiree Virgil Harris talked at the rally about the damaging potential Medicare and Medicaid funding cuts. In addition to his benefit, he has two special-needs children who receive assistance under the programs.
“They have been able to live a decent life because of these benefits, and I regret the threat of having [them] taken away,” Harris said in remarks noted by the San Diego Reader. “It is my hope that Mr. Bilbray will think about people that need these benefits. We work hard for them.”