Surveys show that letters to the editor are among the best-read portions of a newspaper.
Members of Congress always read the letters in the major newspapers of their districts and states, so it’s critical that editorials on issues facing older adults are included.
The best way to get a letter published in a newspaper is to write in response to a news story or editorial soon after it is printed. If you see an article on a relevant program, consider sending a letter to the editor.
In general, most daily newspapers want short letters to the editor, in the range of 100 words. Below is a sample. To make the most impact, you should adapt your letter to include your personal interests, ideas, experiences, and circumstances.
Sample Letter to the Editor
The article on [name the article and the date of publication] should have mentioned the surprisingly low enrollment rates in benefits programs for seniors in need. There are significant barriers to enrollment that keep seniors with limited means from getting the assistance that could truly help them.
For example, up to 4.2 million people with Medicare are still not receiving Extra Help with their prescription drug costs. The low-income subsidy is worth nearly $3,200 a year on average for people who qualify, but a significant number have not yet enrolled.
A federal government program that pays Medicare premiums to those who really need the help has a participation rate of only 13% and still another similar program will expire in September if Congress fails to act.
Incredibly, access to these important programs is also denied if seniors have even a small savings nest egg.
Congress is currently considering long overdue improvements to increase participation in these programs. These changes can go a long way to making needed health care and medicine affordable and accessible to millions of our nation’s most vulnerable seniors.