Cynthia Tucker, writing in today’s S.F. Chronicle, asks the provocative question “Are We Shortchanging Our Children?” The answer is clearly, “Yes, we are.” Although Americans have succeeded in providing universal healthcare to people over 65, we have failed miserably in insuring coverage for young people. As many commentators have mentioned, if 10-year-olds could vote they might have more clout, but instead it is often those who benefit most from government-supplied healthcare who insist on denying it to their grandchildren. This is not only cruel, it is dangerous for the country. Healthy children will grow up to provide care, both financial and physical, to all of us as we grow older. They should be the major concern of our healthcare policies. As old age stretches out longer and longer, with more people living for 30 years or more after retirement, we should think about cutting back on some of generous benefits given to seniors regardless of their wealth, and start thinking about the needs of younger generations. The future for all of us depends on young people–let’s make their lives healthy and reasonably secure.
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