President Obama has been trying to calm fears among senior citizens that healthcare reform will significantly curtail their Medicare benefits, put their health at risk, and deny them essential care at a critical time.

The President was quoted as saying “We are not going to pull the plug on grandma,” with a nod to fears about denying compassionate end-of-life care.

I am not worried. There is so much waste in Medicare that if we just run it more efficiently, cut out fraud, use technology wisely, and base treatment on evidence of what works will will save billions. Seniors will not suffer. I believe it will be a system they see as better.

But once again the refrain from the Republican leadership is the scare tactic of seniors being put at risk. It is inaccurate and unfair to us all.

We are at a pivotal time right now when we have an opportunity to make smart, and essential, changes in our healthcare system. The President’s priorities are correct about reducing costs and ending the tragedy of over 45 million Americans living without insurance coverage.

As one elderly woman said in the paper today…many were afraid of Social Security. Many feared the Medicare legislation. Now Seniors can’t imagine living without them. She says there has to be some trust in the President’s leadership this time again. I agree and am hopeful this pivotal legislation can be passed with significant provisions intact and that the public, of all ages, will come to see it as sensible and effective.

I look forward to your comments.

Wishing you and your family the best of health,