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Letters: Medicare Advantage protects seniors’ health and finances

Senior citizens parade down a boardwalk on Aug. 26, 164, demonstrating for passage of the Medicare bill. | Sun-Times Library

As a policy aide in Cook County, I’ve spent my career speaking up for people who need advocates, including families in poverty and Illinois children. Here, I’d like to bring attention to an issue that is vital to thousands of senior citizens across Illinois: Medicare Advantage.

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This highly successful program is part of Medicare and gives beneficiaries a full-service health plan. For seniors in my district who rely on Medicare Advantage, it can be a literal life-saver. The plans focus on preventative care, so seniors get immunizations and screenings for cancer, heart disease and more. They also get expert help managing chronic conditions, so symptoms don’t worsen; and, when they have a crisis, they get care to put them on the mend. All of this comes at an affordable cost — often no monthly premium and a few dollars’ co-pay for each service — making this program critically important for low-income seniors. They can protect their health without jeopardizing their finances.

Anyone who cares for a senior in their family should support Medicare Advantage. Our communities are made stronger by the life experience, volunteerism and other contributions senior citizens provide.

The congressional leaders serving the Chicagoland community should continue their support of Medicare Advantage as this program keeps our valued seniors healthy, financially secure, and able to live life on their terms. U.S. Rep. Bobby Rush, D-Ill., has been a strong supporter of this issue and I hope his colleagues in Congress continue to support this program and keep rates affordable for our seniors in the year ahead.

Justin Slaughter, state representative,
27th District

New category

I love the the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences’ new category: Best Picture for a minute.

Rob Hall, Oak Forest

Strip Jackson’s pension

Former U.S. Rep. Jesse Jackson Jr. addresses the media after a divorce hearing at the Daley Center on Feb. 27, 2017. | Ashlee Rezin/Sun-Times

Former U.S. Rep. Jesse Jackson Jr.  | Ashlee Rezin/Sun-Times

Why is Jessie Jackson Jr. a convicted felon who committed crimes felonies while in office, receiving a taxpayer-funded pension?

Any government employee who receives a pension and commits a crime such as a felony in the performance of their job should lose their pension, which is stipulated in many pension plan laws.
So why is Jessie Jackson Jr. still receiving a pension and other benefits of about $138,000, paid by myself and other taxpayers?

He should be stripped of his pension and then go on Social Security disability. Many many others lost their pensions for felony convictions, so shouldn’t Jessie Jackson Jr.?

John Moravecek, Naperville

Wake-up call

The peaceniks who thought Donald Trump would be less warlike than Hawkish Hillary got a rude wake-up call when Trump proposed a 10 percent hike of $54 billion to the already bloated military, to be paid for by all the programs that truly make life better for Joe Sixpack. The EPA coughs up $2 billion, a cool quarter of its budget, guaranteeing we’ll all be coughing more during the Trump era. Poverty programs, diplomats, IRS agents overseeing the games the one percenters play, education and science will all chip in so the munitions makers can gorge on obscene profits, and the hawks can fund more warfare. I remember the good ol’ days half century ago when LBJ tried to do both guns and butter. Trump doesn’t suffer such fools. His mantra: All guns, no butter.

Walt Zlotow, Glen Ellyn

Another choice

Your Feb. 24 editorial bemoaned the lack of “farm team training” for billionaires-turned-aspiring politicians like Bruce Rauner, Donald Trump, Chris Kennedy, and JB Pritzker. While in prior decades a run for governor or president would have been the culmination of a lifetime of public service, wealth now seemingly provides a fast lane to the top.

However, Illinoisans still have another choice. There is a candidate for governor who has already served on the Chicago City Council and has a record of success. That candidate is Ameya Pawar.

As a resident of the 47th Ward, I can attest to Alderman Pawar’s effectiveness. His progressive vision has strengthened our neighborhood schools and brought economic revitalization to our ward. Rather than buying his way into the highest seats of government, Ameya has learned how to get things done at the local level, and will bring that spirit of leadership and cooperation to the rest of Illinois.

Illinois cannot afford to elect a governor who will learn how to govern while on the job. The stakes are too high.

Andrew Allepeter, Ravenswood