Senior Citizen Tsunami Comes Ashore Today

60 Plus Predicts 60+ GOP House Pick-ups

Statement by 60 Plus Association Chairman Jim Martin

Alexandria, VA –On behalf of 5.5 million elderly that we’re honored to rely on for support, and the number is growing at warp speed, I have some news for Congress.

I’ve predicted, since August 2009, that a senior citizen tsunami—a veritable tidal wave— was headed toward Capitol Hill. And, I’ve said all along, unless it subsides a bunch of politicians will feel intense pain at the polls in 2010.  It came ashore today, election day. Why are seniors on the march?

They’re alarmed at the massive $500 billion cuts to Medicare and well they should be. The issue is not whether you’re for or against Medicare. It’s been the law of the land since 1965 and we’re a nation of laws. Seniors, including yours truly, have paid their dues and now face “lower reimbursement payments” to providers, a situation that can only lead to fewer and fewer Doctors accepting Medicare patients. There’s already a Doctor shortage as is.

I’m proud that seniors have spoken out at these townhall meetings starting in August 2009 and continuing until election day. And for them to have been cynically called in August 2009 townhall meetings ‘un-American’ by  Speaker Nancy Pelosi, was the most shameful, most despicable comment I’ve ever heard uttered at any segment of our society. It was bad enough aimed at any group exercising their Constitutional rights, but directed at men and women who’ve served their country on far away battlefields made it even more reprehensible.

These men and women, many  of them veterans of our military, our Army, Navy, Air Force, Marines, Coast Guard and National Guard, did not deserve  being called un-American, or Nazis or worse. So many of their comrades made the ultimate sacrifice for our country and so many of these surviving warriors have left some family blood and limbs on distant lands, it’s beyond comprehension that they were maligned for speaking out.  And yes, many of them fought the evils of Nazism so it’s even more bitter and disheartening to have heard such disrespectful name-calling.

I came to Washington nearly 50 years ago, in 1962 as a newspaper reporter. I watched many Congresses come and go. This is the worst in its arrogance. There’s change coming to Capitol Hill, a change in House leadership. 60 or more seats will change hands and Republicans will get another chance to do the right thing. I believe they’ve learned their lesson and change–real change–will come to Congress.

Election Day is here. Seniors have long memories and they vote.