Biden’s budget plans do little for seniors
Seniors are disproportionately bearing the heaviest burden of the economic slump caused by the Coronavirus COVID Pandemic, and nothing of real substance is being done to address their challenges. Seniors are included in the political rhetoric but not in the substance of what is being done including in President Biden’s budget. These are some of the issues that should be addressed and become law
By Ray Hanania
The headlines in the pro-Biden mainstream media assert the president is expanding Medicare benefits. But that’s not true.
He’s going to allow Medicare to cover the cost of hearing. The truth is Medicare is a screwed-up healthcare plan.
Medicare is supposed to help seniors, especially those — the vast majority — who don’t have big pensions that provide for healthcare and who are living on limited budgets, mainly social security.
Biden’s budget is based on expanding taxes on the rich and expanding benefits to the poor. Most benefits will go for childcare. It won’t do a thing for middle income Americans who are struggling in the wake of the economic tsunami of the COVID pandemic.
Retail prices have skyrocketed on everything including food, utility rates, insurance, gasoline and more. Price gouging is everywhere.
Biden isn’t doing what needs to be done. Crack down on the pharmaceutical industry that hides behind false claims that if they don’t charge outrageous prices, they can’t afford the research that produces so-called “miracle drugs.” The majority of their profits are not going for research. They’re going to pharmaceutical robber barons who earn billions.
Watch the Hulu series “Dopesick.” Even when they commit crimes, they are not punished. They pay token fines of a small portion of their massive profits. None went to jail for prescribing OxyContin, an addictive opioid, that killed millions, because the FDA — the government agency that supposedly protects Americans, falsely claimed they were not “addictive.”
If I were president, things would change.
End all taxation for seniors 65 years and older earning $100,000 or less, including social security and pensions.
Make healthcare and prescription drugs FREE to seniors 65 or older who earn $100,000 or less.
Seniors should be allowed to work for as long as they want without paying any state or federal taxes, including their measly Social Security checks. Imagine, you work for more than 45 years, and pay into Social Security, and you barely get enough back to live on, let alone cover your medical needs.
If politicians “fear” Social Security will “go broke” PUT MORE MONEY INTO IT.
Punish and prosecute the pharmaceutical industry, and eliminate the so-called “donut hole” the insurance industry’s temporary coverage gap that milks seniors.
Target health insurance companies like Blue Cross/Blue Shield. End the practice of providing coverage benefits for group plans, at affordable rates, while charging enormously higher costs for individuals.
Simplify the Medicare enrollment process. Consolidate it into one system instead of confusing seniors or allowing rip-off healthcare providers to mislead them using wealthy celebrities paid to lie.
President Obama’s Affordable Care Act is a joke, a propaganda piece of BS that may help the poor but does little for anyone else.
By the way, don’t waste your money on a membership to the AARP (American Association of Retired Persons). They literally do nothing except promote products of their paid advertisers. The AARP pushes you to buy their worthless products that range from the ridiculous to the inconsequential. They prey on the eroding mental capacities of humans as we get older. As for being a “lobby” for seniors, they are failures.
I’ll repeat my plan:
1 – Eliminate ALL taxation for seniors 65 years of age and older who earn $100,000 or less. That includes no taxes on property. NEVER tax social security or income combined under $100,000. Any income over $100,000 would be taxed at current rates.
2 – Make healthcare and prescriptions free for all seniors (65 and older). No costs. No co-pay. Nothing.
3 – Force public utilities companies to reduce by 50 percent billing costs for services — telephone, electricity, heat, cable and WiFi.
4 – Allow for ALL of these benefits regardless of whether a senior has a younger, non-senior spouse (under 65) who works and earns income. Separate the income taxes of those couples into two separate filings, but still classify the younger filing as “married” to allow all current available deduction claims.
They do these in many foreign countries, who receive billions from the taxpayers in foreign subsidies and grants. Any foreign country we give money to should be required to provide healthcare free of charge to any American who gets sick in those countries.
You should take these ideas and tell your representatives in the House and Senate to advocate for them. But they won’t, because most members of Congress are getting huge donations from lobbyists for the insurance industry, health industry, pharmaceutical industry and the rest.
They are more concerned about their jobs than they are about you.
(Ray Hanania is an award winning former Chicago City Hall reporter and political columnist. His mainstream political columns are published in the Southwest News Newspaper Group in the Des Plaines Valley News, Southwest News-Herald, The Regional News, The Reporter Newspapers. His Middle East columns are published in the Arab News. For more information on Ray Hanania visit www.Hanania.com or email him at firstname.lastname@example.org.)
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