More than 100 seniors joined Rep. Joe Morelle at Temple B’rith Kodesh on Friday for a town hall discussion on issues facing older Americans.
Several people expressed concerns about entitlement programs such as Social Security and Medicare. Patricia Thompson, a retired teacher from Rochester, is also worried about other issues, such as the environment.
“As a senior, I’m really, really interested in the world that we leave our children, so I’m interested in climate change," Thompson said.
Thompson, 70, also expressed concerns about some of the side effects of potential marijuana legalization, including driving under the influence, and medical coverage.
"I think that every single person in the country should have health care," she said.
Mary Jane Griggs of Webster is also 70. She had a long career as a chemist at Kodak, but in retirement, she owns and operates a small real estate company.
Griggs, who was one of the early birds at the discussion, is hoping for tax relief for seniors.
“There are a couple other countries that are higher than we are, but we’re up there. As we age in place in
our homes, the taxes are a big concern of mine,” said Griggs.
Mark Kranick of Fairport has owned Graphics Etc. for three decades. Like several other attendees, Kranick is worried about the economy and Social Security.
“We have this great unemployment, we’re growing, but we also have Social Security that's insolvent and our national deficit growing, and it's not going to work hand in hand for seniors going forward,” Kranick said.
Morelle agreed that Social Security needs a revamp; he’s co-sponsored legislation to do just that.