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Jewish World Review Sept. 5, 2003 / 8 Elul, 5763

Art Buchwald

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Consumer Reports

Senior citizens vote, too | I am always happy when we approach an election year and politicians start to worry about senior citizens and how they will vote.

The main reason is that I am a senior citizen and I will take any help I can get. The reason I know I am a senior citizen is that I am not a prospect for product merchandising. I have been told by advertisers and TV networks that I don't count and that they only want to suck up to the 18 to 45-year-old age group.

Every time age discrimination is brought up it winds up in the Supreme Court, which is made up of nine senior citizens. While I would be happy to have the government pay my Medicare and pharmacy bills, the legislation has not yet passed, as it has many potholes in it, mostly put there by lobbyists. The one I lose the most sleep over has to do with urging us to give some of our Medicare business to private health plans. I am frightened that the company I sign up with will go bankrupt and the officers will wind up in Brazil.

The honorable companies have to make a profit. Since more and more senior citizens will be urged to try out the private sector, the healthcare industry will raise its prices. More senior citizens will be dropped if they become an insurance risk.

The second thing I worry about is prescription drugs. They are so expensive that the senior citizen actors in the commercials can no longer afford to play with their grandchildren.

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The government does not want the drug companies to go out of business, but we've reached the point that many of us have to use all our gas money to drive to Canada to buy pills.

I don't want to be a wimp, but senior citizens have to pay $140 dollars for a prescription. To make it up to them, they only pay $5 to go to the movies.

Because senior citizens still might buy products-even if advertisers don't want them to, it has been suggested that they carry an age identification card. The card will permit them to buy a Chevy, Chrysler, or Ford, provided they are accompanied by someone from the 18 to 45-year-old age group. Anyone who sells a car to a senior citizen that has no card will be fined $5,000.

Not all senior citizens are retired. Some are still working because the company holding their pensions spent the money on other things. Advertisers should pay attention because since they still have to work, these seniors might have money for Polident, electric toothbrushes, vitamins and Viagra. So even if Pepsi wants only youth to drink their products and Anheuser-Busch wants Bud Light Beer to be consumed by singles in bars, the senior citizen's life span is getting longer and longer.

And when the election comes up in 2004 they will be mad as hell and not take it anymore.

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Art Buchwald's latest book is "We'll Laugh again." To commnt on his column click here.

08/12/03: Don't call me
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08/05/03: Who remembers Watergate?
08/01/03: House for sale
07/29/03: Goodbye, my friends
07/18/03: THE BIG REWARD
07/03/03: Fund-raising dinners
06/26/03: Private Lynch as public Lynch
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05/28/03: The Democratic solution
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04/30/03: Americo-Shaft Airlines
04/22/03: More time with the kids
04/03/03: Rebuilding Baghdad
03/25/03: The Five Saddam Husseins
03/04/03: Tax free defense
02/27/03: Yelling at the TV
02/20/03: The fight for duct tape
02/14/03: Losing your identity
02/05/03: Whose reality is it?
01/17/03: Foreign Affairs for Dummies
01/15/03: No-news stories
01/13/03: The last pill
01/08/03: Come fly with me
12/20/02: Snooping for America
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11/20/02: The Princess and the butler
11/15/02: Preaching democracy
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10/30/02: The threat of golf
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09/10/02: To lose one's center
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07/25/02: House for rent
07/23/02: Doin' time
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07/16/02: Money as a game
07/11/02: Just desserts
07/02/02: So you want to win?
06/19/02: Homeland security parking
06/13/02: The Accused
06/11/02: Don't let them know
06/06/02: The FBI changes its ways
06/04/02: RED ALERT
05/28/02: Malice On Purpose: I'm scared!
05/23/02: Barbie Doll
05/21/02: Why Bermuda?
05/19/02: White collar prisons
05/15/02: Those in depression
05/09/02: Mother's Day in the market
05/07/02: Salary negotiations
04/26/02: Homeland security
04/24/02: The greatest breakthrough
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04/15/02: The Sign That Couldn't
04/11/02: It's Cherry Blossom Time
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03/31/02: Safe Deposit for Sale
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03/21/02: Andersen Defense Fund?
03/19/02: Celebrity kickers
03/15/02: A Mickey Mouse solution
03/13/02: Shadow government in the sandbox
03/07/02: The Way It Is
03/05/02: Not telling the truth
03/01/02: Book flogging
02/27/02: The players are mad

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