In this era of extreme political divisiveness, it is a poignant reminder of our common bonds to recite the Pledge of Allegiance and sing the Star Spangled Banner like we did at the beginning of the Medicare Town Hall Meeting. We gathered in the Machinist Union Hall in Rancho Cordova to celebrate the 47th birthday of Medicare and discuss the changes that have occurred and might occur in the future.
Even on this warm Sunday afternoon there were lots of citizens concerned about how Medicare changes might affect them, friends or family members. Organized by the Creedo Super PAC, there were several nonprofit organizations in attendance to provide information and support for Medicare beneficiaries and their supporters. The focus of the event was a panel of speakers on Medicare and a question and answer period.
Progress towards access
Cindy Young with the California Nurses Association gave a brief overview of the history of health care access in the United States. A focus of her talk was to dispel the myth that universal health care drives up costs because of “over utilization” on the part of consumers. Regardless of whether the system is Medicare or a universal program, similar to other countries, access to good preventive care can actually decrease excessive use of the health care system.
Your neighbor is worthy
Dr. Roberta Loewy Ph.D., Education Consultant in Healthcare Ethics, touched on the topic of a country’s healthcare system in relation to how it values its citizens. To paraphrase one of the quotes she used, “Civilized societies don’t allow its members to be humiliated.” In essence, you should not be branded as having less intrinsic value than your neighbor because you can’t afford healthcare. One measure of a civilized nation is how it constructs and regulates a national healthcare system for the benefit of its citizens.
We built this nation
Sarah Walling of the California Labor Federation gave a short but impassioned pronouncement that all Americans have worked to build America and no one should be left out in the cold, either before or after they retire.
Margie Metzler led the opening and introductions for the panel discussion. She is a tireless supporter to preserve Medicare and works with the Older Woman’s League and the Gray Panthers. Her experience in fighting for Healthcare For All and Medicare issues was a valued addition to the panelist’s answers during the Q and A portion of the Town Hall event.
We were all in agreement that neither Medicare nor the Affordable Care Act is perfect. However, on the 47th anniversary of Medicare, the program that brought millions of seniors out of poverty, the expansion of affordable healthcare and insurance for all Americans can not be allowed to slide backwards.
Some of the organizations providing information at the Medicare Town Hall meeting were: