Sunday, August 9, 2009

Siren! "Seniors Remain Wary of Health-Care Reform"

"Seniors Remain Wary of Health-Care Reform"--That's the headline atop the red-alert story by Ceci Connolly in The Washington Post this morning. As Connolly explains:

Senior citizens are emerging as a formidable obstacle to President Obama's ambitious health-care reform plans.

The discontent in the powerful and highly organized voting bloc has risen to such a level that the administration is scrambling to devise a strategy to woo the elderly.

Obama's task will not be easy. Proposals to squeeze more than $500 billion out of the growth of Medicare over the next decade have fueled fears that his effort to expand coverage to millions of younger, uninsured Americans will damage elder care. As a result, barely one-third of seniors support a health-care overhaul, several polls found.

In other words, seniors are seeing the legislation for what it is--rationing.

"People have gotten more and more worried," Nancy LeaMond, a vice president at the 50-and-over advocacy group AARP, said to Connolly. And then, interestingly enough, in the next clause of that last sentence, the Post goes on to note that LeaMond and AARP will "unveil a pro-reform TV and print ad campaign Monday." That is, AARP is going against the wishes of its own members. (It's a free country, just so long as you can convince others to pay the bills!)

For an audio version of this story, click here.

UPDATE: A version of this story was posted on Politico's "Arena" section.

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