Seniors Most Skeptical Of Health Overhaul
Age plays a role in shaping people's thoughts on health care reform with seniors worried and confused about an overhaul.
The New York Times reports: "As the population ages and the nation faces intense battles over rapidly rising health care and retirement costs, American politics seems increasingly divided along generational lines. The question is how real and defining this gap is going to be - whether in 10 or 20 years it will prove as consequential or intense as, say, the gender divide. ... As distasteful as the notion of intergenerational conflict may seem, the fight over health care - not to mention the election of health care reform's current chief proponent, President Obama - suggests that something is going on."
The New York Times reports that older people are more likely to oppose the reforms backed by President Obama than any other age group. "The White House views this dynamic as one of the biggest obstacles" to overcoming public concerns about its approach and getting a bill passed in Congress. "Older voters were one of the few groups Mr. Obama did not win in the presidential election last year, leaving him and his party particularly reliant on younger voters, who do not show up at the polls as reliably as older people do. They have a dimmer view of his presidency than the rest of the nation. And there is no reason to think that whatever tensions have been unearthed with this fight are going to end once it is resolved. ... Certainly, the friction is driving the strategies of both sides in the health care battle" (Nagourney, 9/12).
The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reports on seniors' worries in Wisconsin: "Seniors' wariness over health care reform proposals was evident at several town hall meetings held by Wisconsin members of Congress during the August recess. And a national poll suggested that confusion was widespread. In early August, the Kaiser Health Tracking Poll found that 62% of the seniors surveyed nationally said they were confused about the plans before Congress, compared with 43% of those under age 65" (Boulton and Umhoefer, 9/14).