Echoes. The forgotten Americans.

Feb 9, 2018 by

These young families, along with the retired senior citizens that I had previously spoken to, are all part of the growing group of forgotten Americans today.

Raymond Flynn

The past week, I spoke at four outstanding Catholic High Schools in Massachusetts about the importance of Catholic education, with parents, clergy and students. It was so good to hear many positive stories about how well children are doing in our Catholic schools. But I also got the opportunity to listen to people talk about other issues of deep concern to them and their community like public safety, gangs and drugs.

While I certainly have heard these same points of view in my own South Boston community many times, it was a conversation I had with a recently retired worker at Bishop Connolly in Fall River which concerned me a lot.

A man in his middle 60s with his wife said to me, “Ray, I liked what you said about the importance of both private and public school education and school choice. They should not be in competition with one another. But we have another issue which we are concerned about, and that is the growing cost of health care, including prescription drugs.”

“We are retired and on a fixed income. Our health insurance co-pay keeps going up, and our doctor visits get longer and longer. We are sensing serious cutbacks. But we rarely hear our political leaders talk about health care issues anymore. It seems like every cause has a powerful advocate in Washington and at the State House, except us. The elderly vote was once one of the highest priorities for elected officials, but that doesn’t seem to be the case today,” he told me.

Raymond L. Flynn is the former U.S. Ambassador to the Holy See and Mayor of Boston.

Source: Echoes. The forgotten Americans. Published 2/9/2018

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