'They kind of see themselves as guardians of the programs for their children,' says chief AARP strategist
WASHINGTON — The Republican plan to privatize Medicare wouldn't touch his benefits, but Walter Dotson still doesn't like the idea. He worries about the consequences long after he's gone, for the grandson he is raising.
"I'd certainly hate to see him without the benefits that I've got," said Dotson, 72, steering a high school sophomore toward adulthood.
The loudest objections to the GOP Medicare plan are coming from seniors, who swung to Republicans in last year's congressional elections, and many have been complaining at town-hall meetings with their representatives during the current congressional recess. Some experts say GOP policymakers may have overlooked a defining trait among older people: concern for the welfare of the next generations.
"I remember the days when we had poor farms and elderly people on welfare, before we had Social Security and Medicare for seniors, and I'm afraid it will lead right back to that situation," added Dotson, from the village of Cleveland in rural southwest Virginia.