Letter: Tea party radical would toss Medicare and elderly

Published December 3, 2013 1:01 am

This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2013, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.

It's always fun to see a radical right-wing tea party activist like Cherilyn Eagar complain about Medicare and the "creeping socialism" that it represents ("Slide toward socialized medicine began with Medicare," Opinion, Nov.24). If Eagar had her way, Medicare would be eliminated tomorrow and Americans could live in a tea party utopia in which old people buy their own health insurance from private carriers or simply live (or die) without medical care.

Medicare is overwhelmingly popular with Americans, who have now had almost 50 years to become acquainted with it. Polls show that over 90 percent of seniors are satisfied with Medicare. Would Eager ignore the majority will and scrap it to further the tea party agenda?

Tens of millions of seniors would never be able to afford health insurance on the open market. (Insurance companies aren't stupid. Old people get sick more often than younger people, and they respond by making coverage so expensive that many seniors simply can't afford it. That's why Medicare was created in the first place.) Ms. Eagar offers no alternatives.

Finally, how much time has Ms. Eagar spent without decent medical care? Her father was a surgeon in Hollywood, Calif. She is now a lobbyist/political activist. What are her plans for those less fortunate?

G. Eric Nielson