To the editor: Why are our retired elders always associated with welfare recipients when our government officials want to cut the costs of welfare? Our retired elders should be respected as veterans of the workforce and not freeloaders.

Medicare and Medicaid are not welfare programs, so why do officials cut the program’s coverage for elderly or increase the premiums and deductibles along with, or resulting in, lowering the fixed incomes of our elderly? These actions do not affect welfare recipients or their costs to receive welfare.

I ask our government officials: If your elderly are indeed welfare recipients, then why not give them free insurance coverage through Medicare or Medicaid, along with a refund of the money they paid into these programs while working? Also, why not free housing with paid utilities, highest allotments of food, heating and other services like a true welfare recipient?

Elders have been taking it on the chin and government has been taking money from their wallets for years. I and possibly many millions of other retired elders feel and would agree — there should be a very distinct difference between all work-eligible welfare recipients “no exceptions” and being favorable to our retired elder populations. And that difference should also be demonstrated in favor of our elders in all assistance programs.

Unless, of course, you feel that there is discrimination between favoring an elder who worked hard to earn a retirement living and a person who never worked at all to receive much more than what retired hard-workers have earned. What message would you be sending to others?

Bill Miller


(1) comment


It is nice to hear of your compassion for the elderly and retired. I am also appalled by the calculations of the state system. I was dropped from the rent rebate program for being $50 over the income limit. I contacted our Congressman and was assured they would look into it. I have never received a reply. Also, after 14 years I now have medical coverage. I do not receive any benefits except heating assistance. I want to make it clear that I do not begrudge young families or single parents help that they need. I sincerely hope that retirement benefits are not cut and that those who deserve it can survive on the benefits they earned.

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