08/15/12 — Medicare scare: Watch out, seniors. There's more to this than meets the eye.

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Medicare scare: Watch out, seniors. There's more to this than meets the eye.

They have already started -- the scary ads proclaiming that soon, now that Mitt Romney is under the influence of the evil Paul Ryan, seniors will be left with no Medicare coverage.

And it is understandable that hearing words like that would give Americans pause. After all, what if this is the one time that someone in Washington is actually telling the truth?

But rest assured, this is more smoke and mirrors than real reason for concern. It is merely a campaign magic trick.

Before explaining why this is happening, let's dispel one rumor immediately. Nothing proposed with regard to Medicare in the Ryan budget will affect anyone over the age of 55.

So, those who have paid into the system to this point can stop worrying.

But that does not mean voters should ignore the concerns that surround the Medicare system.

Truth is, it is facing a serious deficit -- and one that will not be getting any better anytime soon. Something has to be done.

Voters should look critically at all the proposals and vote for the candidate whose plan makes the most sense and ensures the long-term viability of the program. Because, let's face it, shoring up a program with more tax money from the nation's richest Americans will not be enough forever -- especially if there is another nagging little problem of trillions of dollars in debt that you are promising to eliminate. Where do you think they will go next? That's right, the rest of us.

The Medicare ads are meant to prey on those who might not be as savvy about the Medicare process or the budget proposals.

And let's face it -- this is not the easiest problem to understand, so there are probably many more of those people than those who can really speak on the subject.

This is campaign nonsense. No question about it. And, by the way, it is a pretty dirty tactic as well.

Look for more just like it in the coming months -- and prepare to take everything you hear from both sides with a grain of salt -- and a healthy dose of common sense.

There is going to be a long campaign ahead.

But this is an example of why it is not only important to listen, but to really examine what you are hearing.

That is the only way to make the right choice this November.

Published in Editorials on August 15, 2012 10:53 AM