Bruce D. Brovold, Published February 10 2012
Romney just doesn’t get itI just finished reading the article in The Forum, where Mitt Romney stated, “I’m not concerned about the very poor.” I was taken aback by this man’s comment, especially when he is running for the president of the United States.
He goes on to state that the poor have safety nets. I guess I must not have been in line when these nets were passed out. I have also talked to a lot of poor people in my apartment house and others, and they did not receive their nets either.
I figure I am a poor man – making an hourly wage of $6.84 from Social Security disability, after paying in $1,200 a year for Medicare. I am considered too rich so I cannot receive food stamps, Medicaid, heat assistance or any of the so-called safety nets that Romney might be referring to. I am also considered too rich and still have to pay co-payments for my many prescriptions at the VA. However, I am an independent man, and I get by on a very tight budget.
And do you know what? There are hundreds of thousands of people who are a lot worse off that I am.
I talk to a lot of veterans when I am at the VA, and I hear the same story over and over again. Many veterans do not have safety nets like health insurance. Due to lack of funding, the VA does not have a full-service emergency room. If a veteran has a stroke or heart attack, he or she is forced to go to a public hospital. Many cannot pay the bills, go into debt, file bankruptcy or just do not go. Sad to say, some veterans just cannot cope and commit suicide. Where are their safety nets?
Remember, Mr. Romney, even though we are poor, and despite the fact that you’re not concerned about us, we still have the ability to execute our greatest American right: We can vote.