GOP distortions on Medicare

Last modified: 3/22/2012 12:00:00 AM
The Republican attack on Medicare is another distortion of the facts. First, Medicare is not an unearned "entitlement" - employees have paid into the system in every paycheck. They have paid for the assurance that, when they reach an age at which they have lower income and a higher need for medical care, they will not face financial hardship.

Another distortion is that the market system will provide the necessary adjustments for a voucher system. Private insurance companies have shown for years that they will deny coverage for existing conditions, cut off coverage when the cost of treatment becomes "too high," and arbitrarily decide that a particular treatment is unnecessary, too expensive or not covered for myriad reasons.

The reality is that we can depend on Medicare, and it is getting even better with the president's Affordable Health Care Act which is closing the "donut hole" in prescription coverage, mandates free preventive testing and care, and improves care for seniors leaving the hospital to help prevent readmissions.

I had breast cancer while in my 50s. I was fortunate that my husband's insurance covered me until he turned 70, but I had not yet reached 65 and was uninsurable - despite a clean bill of health for over 10 years, no company would touch me except at rates that were impossible. I had a very nervous several months and nobody was happier to reach 65. Nobody should have to go through that anxiety. Let's protect Medicare from partisan distortions.



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