Area seniors worried about entitlement cuts

Nov 2, 2012

Seniors in the 24th congressional district are worried about the future of Medicare and Social Security according to a poll conducted by the AARP. 

There are more than 100,000 Medicare and Social Security recipients in the 24th congressional district which includes Onondaga, Cayuga, Wayne counties as well as half Oswego County. Bob O'Connor, the volunteer advocacy coordinator in this district says many are worried about potential cuts in the entitlement programs that mostly affect senior citizens.

"Many people, as you probably know, live on Social Security as well as needing Medicare for health insurance, and if they get cut drastically, that's going to ruin the lives of a lot of people," O'Connor said.

Specifically, O'Connor says some of the proposals that trouble seniors include an increase in eligibility age; a proposed voucher program instead of Medicare, which would provide a set amount of money for seniors to use for health care; and the dwindling number of physicians willing to sign-on Medicare patients.  

O'Connor said he was surprised at the depth of the concern among the seniors who answered the poll, which was conducted between May and October.

"Eighty-five to 95 percent on certain questions, are saying we're worried about this.  It's not 25 or 30, it's above 75 percent."

Almost 2,000 people answered the survey questions.