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Can votes be bought?

October 23, 2012
The Mining Journal

To the Journal editor:

It amazes me that nothing has changed when it comes to health care in our country in the last 50 years.

I vividly remember the 1960s when our Democratic president, Lyndon Johnson, was successful in passing Medicare after a bitter battle with just about all our doctors and their organizations like the American Medical Society and the Michigan Medical Society. They considered it the end of the world that government was taking over health care for senior citizens.

Today most seniors are very happy when they turn 65 and become eligible for Medicare. Its a program that works and definitely helps them make health care much more affordable in their old age. And they don't have to contend with private insurance companies denying them coverage for pre-existing conditions.

When President Barack Obama was successful in passing the National Affordable Health Care Act (Obamacare) a couple of years ago, the health insurance companies were prevented from doing that for all citizens, regardless of age. But Republicans today plan on repealing it.

If Republicans are successful in November and gain control of the U.S. Senate and presidency, they also plan on privatizing Medicare which means we have to deal with private insurance companies.

Republicans presidential candidate Mitt Romney, running mate Paul Ryan and our Republican congressman, U.S. Rep. Dr. Dan Benishek. R-Crystal Falls, (yes, like one of those 1960s doctors) have all promised that it will happen.

A couple of weeks ago I received a brochure supporting Rep. Dan Benishek's reelection. The brochure stated that he will lead the fight to repeal Obamacare just like all Republicans. He also said that he will "restore" $500 billion that Obamacare cut from Medicare.

What cuts? I am 83 and have been on Medicare for 18 years, and I have not seen any cuts in my health care coverage.

Its pretty obvious to me that Dan Benishek is not like our last Democratic congressman, Bart Stupak, who cared about the health care of all Americans by voting for Obamacare.

My only question to voters in Michigan and in our country today: "Can your vote be bought by all the millionaires, billionaires and domestic and foreign corporations that have been unleashed by our Supreme Court's devastating decision on unlimited campaign donations last year?" I hope not!

Walt, Barb Orlowski




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