Election 2011: Southold Democrats Create ‘Save Medicare’ Line

Voters can vote for local Democrats based on keeping Medicare intact for the elderly.

If you’re inclined to vote Democratic this year and are concerned about the state of medical care for the elderly, you can express those concerns at the polls on Nov. 8 by voting on the “Save Medicare” line.

Southold Democratic Committee Chairman Art Tillman confirmed this past weekend that the Suffolk County Board of Elections validated the party’s “Save Medicare” petitions, which were challenged by Southold Republican Party members.

“Those dependent upon Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid now have an opportunity to send the message to preserve and protect these programs from Republican's proposed cuts,” Tillman said. “You don’t mess with these entitlements."

Though local elected officials can do nothing to directly sway a federal vote, Tillman believes that the line will allow Southold senior citizens and others concerned about Medicare to send a message to Washington through their ballots.

House Republicans proposed deep cuts to Medicare and Medicaid in early April in an effort to cut $4 trillion in spending over 10 years. The move would essentially privatize Medicare for those under the age of 55.

For Lynn Summers, Democratic candidate for Southold Town Trustee, this proposal is unfair to “all of us who have worked all of our lives paying into this system,” she said.

“I’m getting to be that age when I could qualify for Medicare — all of us running are, really,” she said. “But I found that the issue is important to young people too. It was very enlightening to hear their thoughts outside of IGA when we were getting petition signatures.”

Denis Noncarrow, Chairman of the Southold Republican Party, said that party members decided to challenge the "Save Medicare" petitions because they felt that the Democrats were spinning the issue and misleading voters.

"To say that your vote for a Southold Town candidate is a vote for Medicare is a total lie," he said. "We felt it was a way to get senior citizens worried and scared enough about the issue to vote for them."

Noncarrow said that members of the Board of Elections had a split decision on whether to allow the formation of the party line or not, which meant that the Republicans would have had to continue their challenge in court — something they did not want to burden the taxpayers with, he said.

Summers said she acknowledged the expensive problem of Medicare fraud and that it does need to be addressed to tighten spending.

“But don’t throw the baby out with the bath water and leave people completely on their own who need help,” she said. “This will destroy people’s lives.”

Southold is the only town on Long Island with a “Save Medicare” line.

“The AARP has been placing ads on TV for seniors to contact their congress people regarding proposed cuts,” Tillman said. “To vote for candidates on the Save Medicaid line this November is another way to send the message.”

You can also vote on the Independence and Working Families party lines for Bob Meguin, Democratic Candidate for Southold Town Supervisor, and on the Working Families line for Marie Domenici, Democratic Candidate for Southold Town Council.

William Swiskey sr October 07, 2011 at 01:01 AM
Mr Tillman, how about an answer to a real issue, What is your position on benefits for part time trustees and board members. The cost is around $250,000 a year plus whatever hospitalization is paid out to retirees from these groups, which I believe is a substantial amount. The $250,000 is about half the extra amount to be raised by taxes this year. What is the dems position on this issue, I know the current board's position they were honest about it, at the tax discussion on the 6th. Tell us yours and quit the beltway scare tactics. How are you going to guide the town thru the trubulent time ahead, Although I don't agree with some of there positions there overall approach is fairly sound (IF THEY FOLLOW THROUGH)? I'm not a dem or rep with a party line ,so I'd like you to address the issues.
Vin Ricciardi October 07, 2011 at 11:13 AM
Save Medicare is a political scare tatic to garner votes from Sr. Citizen's. Medicare is a train wreck about to happen. The worst thing to do for Medicare is to do nothing. This will ensure the entitlement will go bankrupt. Plus; Medicare is a Federal program for which the Town does not have a seat at the table to effect any change what-so-ever. And; what about the taxes? How about saving us a few bucks and deleting the health care costs for part-time board members and trustee's. Part-timers in the private workplace don't receive medical coverage.
Howard R. Meinke October 07, 2011 at 12:25 PM
The Save Medicare line is simply a way for us seniors to say medicare is important. We agree that money saving adjustments can and should be made. The Medicare idea works elsewhere at much lower cost and higher efficiency than in this country. The anti Medicare folks should look into their support for wasteful, paper pushing, pocket lining health care providers for a solution before they go after those who need medical help. Howard Meinke
forward thinking October 13, 2011 at 09:09 PM
true ws sr- its another smoke screen like political signs -- create a "buz phrase that has no truth --com ' on "save medicare" - the best way to save it and soc sec. is to stop political entitlements - have them pay part of medical and have to "work" 20 b4 retirements kick in ... just like all us pay as you go - and -- not have me pay as you go
William Swiskey sr October 13, 2011 at 09:18 PM
Mr. Tillman please answer the question will your part time officals (board members and trustees) forgo hospitalization and retirement bennies? Hoping you will respond.
John October 13, 2011 at 10:30 PM
I know Billy's question is not related to the articles theme, but if you are asking us to vote for "your guys" don't you think we deserve an answer to Bill Swiskey's question?
forward thinking October 14, 2011 at 07:30 PM
to answer WS sr - ahhh - signs and save med. is the answer - std smoke and mirrors - unlike to potential the current make answers right or wrong - unlike greenport and the osprey
William Swiskey sr October 15, 2011 at 03:53 AM
PLease answer the simple question Mr. Tillman. We know we can save $250,000 with the right answer. The public has a right to know as well as the boloney sandwich guys who do the actual work for the town and are always asked to sacrifice. Show me I'm wrong that the politicos are just greedy and just all about themselves


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