What does the election of Donald Trump mean for people with disabilities such as multiple sclerosis?
Yes, two days ago the people of the U.S.A. decided who they wanted as their next President. They were faced with a difficult choice between a candidate with no experience of holding an elected public office and one who had served as a senator and Secretary of State. Ok, they could have ignored the two main candidates and voted for another candidate but, realistically, it was a choice between Trump and Clinton.
Now, before I go any further, it is essential to point out that I am not American and so am commenting from the position of an observer.
So, let’s take a look at what President-elect Donald Trump said about disabilities and social security payments.
Back in 2013, speaking at the Conservative Political Action Conference, in Washington, Trump said: “As Republicans, if you think you are going to change very substantially for the worse Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security in any substantial way, and at the same time you think you are going to win elections, it just really is not going to happen.”
In Time to Get Tough he said; “Social Security faces a problem: 77 million baby boomers set to retire. Now I know there are some Republicans who would be just fine with allowing these programs to wither and die on the vine. The way they see it, Social Security and Medicare are wasteful ‘entitlement programs’.
“But people who think this way need to rethink their position. It’s not unreasonable for people who paid into a system for decades to expect to get their money’s worth – that’s not an ‘entitlement’, that’s honoring a deal. We, as a society, must also make an ironclad commitment to providing a safety net for those who can’t make one for themselves.
“Social Security is here to stay. To be sure, we must reform it, root out the fraud, make it more efficient, and ensure that the program is solvent.
“Same goes for Medicare. Again, people have lived up to their end of the bargain and paid into the program in good faith. Of course, they believe they’re ‘entitled’ to receive the benefits they paid for – they are!”
Tackling the issue of fraud itself, in Time to Get Tough, he said: “The top estimates are $2,340,000,000 in Medicare fraud over a decade – or 16% of America’s entire national debt!
“Then there’s the disability racket. Did you know that one out of every 20 people in America now claims disability? That adds up to $170 billion a year in disability checks. Between 2005 and 2009, it is estimated that $25 billion were eaten up in fraudulent Social Security Disability Insurance filings. On and on, scam after scam it goes; as always, taxpayers are the ones getting stiffed.”
What next, I wonder?
50shadesofsun.com is the personal website of Ian Franks, who is Managing Editor (columns division) of BioNews Services. BioNews is owner of 50 disease/didorder-specific news and information websites – including MS News Today. Ian has enjoyed a successful career as a journalist, from reporter to editor, in the print media. During that career he gained a Journalist of the Year award in his native UK. He was diagnosed with MS in 2002 but continued working until mobility problems forced him to retire early in late 2006. He now lives in the south of Spain. Besides MS, Ian is also able to write about both epilepsy and cardiovascular matters from a patient’s perspective and is a keen advocate on mobility and accessibility issues.