A brief chat with Congressman Scott Peters (D-CA)

If you’re mad at somebody, don’t yell at the TV–call me.*

 

Scott Peters

*(that would be whoever your representative is.)

We promise we’ll avoid politics, except when it’s of note for seniors. Last night, at a local senior center, the 52nd District’s Congressman, Democrat Scott Peters, reminded the audience that for all of Congress’s notorious dysfunction, there’s one way it does work. It may not go forward on the big issue you care about, but if there’s a personal issue, say a problem with Medicare, you should call your representative and ask for Constituent Services. You may not always get satisfaction, but at least they will try to help you cut through the red-tape.

At least the traffic's moving.

At least the traffic’s moving.

As for the Medicare and technology issues of interest to seniors, Peters says that Congress is attempting to change Medicare reimbursements so that doctors will be compensated for consultations, not just procedures, which would give a boost to telemedicine.

In addition, they’re still working on trying to get compensation for in-home care, so that people aren’t forced into nursing homes. (Regarding nursing homes, the New York Times has an important article about how homes are gaming the Medicare rating system. Unfortunately, “five star” may not be as reassuring as it appears. We highly recommend you read the comments as well; they offer some good, albeit heartbreaking, advice.)

Whether you’re voting for Congress or trying to advocate for a favorite cause, you may want to check out OpenSecrets.org, a non-partisan website that tracks who’s getting money from whom in Washington.