My birthday comes soon after election day each year. Even as I’m getting older I still love each birthday. My grown kids spend an entire afternoon with me! I get surprising presents from them! There’s chocolate cake!
This year is especially exciting because I’ve given myself a hard-earned birthday present: I decided to start collecting Social Security. When I go to the polls to vote in the midterms on November 6, protecting Social Security will be a part of my decision.
Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid: protecting these laws has been added to my passionate political agenda on the environment, womens’ rights, civil rights, immigration and healthcare. My focus broadened when I realized that the safety net my parents enjoyed in their retirement could be threatened by elected officials.
My parents had a real retirement—the likes of which we don’t see much anymore. They retired at 62, bought a little house in Florida to escape the Chicago winters, and traveled around in their classic Airstream. My dad was a careful planner, the ant to my mother’s grasshopper, but without Social Security my parents would have had a much less adventurous retirement.
I’m also taking advantage of Medicare now, and I have to say I’m delighted at how good it is. My favorite doctor, Dr. Michael Butman, is covered on my plan. When I vote in the midterms I am going to be voting for candidates who support the ACA, Medicare, and Medicaid. The ACA brought us the pre-existing condition protection that is so popular and so necessary.'Older Americans vote at a higher rate than younger Americans. There are a lot of reasons we vote. It’s not just about us. It’s about the future that our children and their children face.'Click To Tweet
Older Americans vote at a higher rate than younger Americans. In fact, 71% of Americans 65+ voted in 2016 compared to 46% of 18 to 29 year olds. There are a lot of reasons we vote. It’s not just about us. It’s about the future that our children and their children face. Congress wields enormous power to move or block legislation on huge issues that will affect our children long after we’re gone–on civil rights, reproduction rights, climate change, war, science and yes, taxes. State elected officials wrestle with all the big issues left to the states and manage the budget we pay for with our state taxes. Local officials can support or starve our libraries, local businesses, parks, schools and emergency services.
We older citizens also vote more because we know from experience the impact our elected leaders have on our culture and our values. We’ve been through good and bad presidents, effective and ineffective Congresses, get-stuff-done and do-nothing town boards. We have witnessed first-hand the impact of our vote, as the leaders we chose either stepped up and did well or failed and disappointed us.
Even at 71% voting, we could do better. If you need help deciding who to vote for, the most non-partisan source I know is the League of Women Voters. Their Voters Guide 2018 is a click away at Vote411.org. I’ll see you at the polls!