Letters to the Editor

We need some reform in health care

Re July 10 guest editorial, “Rejecting Medicaid Funding a Bad Choice”

I do not see how the governor thinks she can come up with a better and more cost effective plan for the new guidelines for Medicaid expansion under the Affordable Care Act. Doing it her way would surely mean we S.C. taxpayers would be paying the entire bill, which would likely amount to more than it would cost if the federal government paid over 90 percent of the costs.

I also have a problem with a statement in the editorial, “the federal government picks up the entire cost for wealthy, healthy, old people.” First of all, I assume this is speaking of Medicare. Medicare is collected from our Social Security taxes we pay into all our working lives. When we reach the age of 65, we are guaranteed Medicare part A, which pays for most hospital expenses only. Again, our taxes funded this and it is subsidized.

If we wish to have any medical care outside of a necessary hospitalization, we must purchase Medicare Part B, which is subsidized by the federal government and we are charged a monthly premium, a yearly deductible and a co-pay. This only pays 20 percent of the cost of care so if you have some very expensive procedures, it could run into thousands of dollars in out of pocket expenses. That brings us to another gap insurance. Yes, you can get it privately or through the Medicare system at another monthly premium and also get another policy to help with prescription drugs. Subsidized yes, free NO.

Even the wealthy paid into the system so they are entitled. Do they wish to use it? It is up to them.

Even the cost of health care for those who are healthy and have insurance subsidized by the federal government is enormous. My husband and I are retired, comfortable but not wealthy, pay out of pocket over $700 a month for health insurance. We have Medicare, a secondary gap insurance and a long term policy. We are doing every thing we can to be able to care for ourselves and not lose everything we have worked hard for if we should have health problems that run into enormous costs.

I often wonder how many people manage with all the other necessary costs they have to pay. We must have car insurance; we must pay personal property taxes, federal taxes, local taxes, gas, shelter, food and utilities. No wonder some young people with children and older folks living on fixed incomes cannot afford health insurance. There are many more people making under $50,000 annually than above that amount.

For over forty years, the U.S. Congress has been discussing a need to reform health care and nothing has been accomplished until now. It would seem the logical course would be to do something instead of nothing. Repealing it makes no sense. Fixing the things not working well or coming up with something better would be a better plan.

The writer lives in Little River.

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