My grandfather, Dick Lee, was famous in Iowa City. As one of the city’s top cops for 30 years, he promised to keep us safe. As an all-state lineman at City High, he promised to win. He gave to his community, and, in return, he believed his pension and the social safety net would provide for him and his wife.
He was right. When he died of cancer in 2004, hospice was there with the help of Medicare. My grandmother, Jan Lee, followed in 2014, also to cancer. When the pension Dick was counting on wasn’t enough, my family turned to Medicare and Medicaid to ensure she got the care she needed.
In 1997, a then-member of the Senate Select Committee on Aging stood before a few hundred City High students. One precocious kid asked why he should pay into Social Security if the trust fund would be empty when he retired. The senator promised that the Congress would protect Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid.
That Senator was Chuck Grassley. That student was me. My family, like thousands of Iowans, depend on the Affordable Care Act’s protections. Dick Lee kept his promises to his family and to the community he served. I hope Senator Grassley does the same.
Panama City, Panama