Florida's seniors, who represent about 22 percent of the state's voting-age population, may play a large role in how the state swings on Nov. 6. As Election Day nears, Yahoo News asked Floridians who are or nearing retirement, Medicare and Social Security age to share their thoughts on the election. Here's one perspective.
FIRST PERSON | The 2012 presidential race is nearing a close, and the incumbent has a narrow lead. There are arguments to be heard both for and against giving President Obama a second term. Let me tell you a little about myself, and why Obama is my choice.
I am a 72-year-old retiree living in Tampa. I raised my children as a single mom, their father and I having divorced in the mid 1970s. I experienced first-hand the trials and stress of being a female head of household. I feel that Obama can relate to my life story.
Education was a vital factor in my gaining the ability to qualify for something other than a minimum-wage job. I earned my college degree as a mature student, and found it necessary to borrow through the student loan program. I repaid these monies, and was grateful for their availability. I believe that Obama best values the continuance of student loans and grants in our educational system.
Looking beyond personal interests, I greatly value world peace, and mostly agree with President Obama's policies and actions in achieving it. I see him as an intelligent, thoughtful negotiator with the skills necessary to deal with other world leaders on a level playing field.
Our economy is admittedly not good, but has been gradually improving. I refuse to blame our president for the financial mess he has tried to untangle. I believe he deserves the chance to try and right our "ship of state" with a second term.
It is a mystery to me how so many citizens can attach such value to the Medicare system, in which I participate, and yet not see the fallacy in our country's lack of a comprehensive health care system. I see the idea of voucher payments to seniors to purchase health care as a step backwards! Obama's health care reform is at least a step in the right direction.
Regarding insurance coverage of birth control and contraceptives, I find it hard to believe that our society has regressed to even consider this questionable. I am beyond needing these items, but I want them to be available for my granddaughters!
A sign I've seen recently states, "Leave my Social Security Alone!" I can surely agree with this sentiment, since I couldn't afford to be retired without that income. My pension would not suffice! It is my belief that we can find a way to strengthen and continue the Social Security system.
It is my deepest hope that we can find a way to unite as a country and support whomever is elected. Our future and that of our children and grandchildren depends upon it!