Statement Of Thomas C. DeChant
Environmental Protection Agency
Aging Initiative Public Listening Session
San Antonio, Texas
April 8, 2003
City-County Joint Commission on Elderly Affairs
San Antonio, Texas
Thomas C. DeChant is a 75 year old retired letter carrier, member of the City-County Joint Commission on Elderly Affairs, and a member of the Greater San Antonio Crime Prevention Commission (Senior Citizen Task Force).
Senior citizens are the fastest growing population in the United States.
In 1970, President Nixon signed the Clean Water-Clean Air Act. In 1990, President George Bush strengthened this Act. But in 2002, his son, George W. Bush, with a wave of the hand cancelled all the regulations in the Clean water-Clean Air Act. As a result of this, respiratory problems within the senior citizen population will increase dramatically. We therefore need I & M testing now. Volunteering on the I & M program is simply not working.
Medical schools are teaching only 12% of future doctors geriatric medicine. This is a frightening concept when you consider the fact that the geriatric population will have grown 20 to 30% by the year 2007. Many doctors need to be trained in this field.
DO NOT CUT Medicare. Medicare is more often than not the only coverage senior citizens have to pay for medical expenses. And senior citizens utilize half of their Social Security money to pay for prescriptions. Our leaders, especially in Congress, do not listen to senior citizens except at election time. They need to hear the older citizens of our society every day.
On Earth Day 1995, this quote by a 12 year old appeared in the local newspaper "If we do not have clean air, we will all die." Why do we worry about terrorist attacks when we would more easily get killed by poor air we breathe or the polluted water we drink? Please eliminate the grandfather clause in the 1970 Clean air-Clean water act.