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Your Views: Medicare is not the wonderful plan its made out to be
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In response to Jesse Corn’s column of Jan. 29: So you’re angry, are you? Sorry. I’m having trouble feeling your pain.

I came home from work this evening to relax and enjoy reading The Times, only to get a lecture from a 30(ish)-year-old columnist who thinks the elderly (of which I am one) are selfish because the younger workers of today are having to subsidize Medicare benefits for them.

Well, join the fun. My generation had to pay for the medical benefits of the generation before us. You should direct your anger toward the real reason Medicare is in trouble. It’s because too many people today are living on government handouts instead of working for a living. Be proactive. Help someone else find a job and pay into the system.

Here’s an example of what you call “lavish” Medicare coverage: When I took “optional” early retirement in 1994, and forfeited part of my retirement income, I signed up for Social Security benefits, hoping to supplement my income by recouping some of the thousands I had paid into the system over a 42-year working career.

Signing up for Social Security automatically threw me into the Medicare system. A combination of Medicare, as my primary insurer, and a secondary insurer of my choice (at my expense) was supposed to pay 80 percent of my health care costs, with me paying the remaining 20 percent.

However, if Medicare denies coverage or chooses to pay only 50 percent of my medical expenses, the secondary insurer does the same. It’s not exactly the Cadillac plan you envisioned, is it? After retirement, I expected to kick back and enjoy the fruits of my labor. Instead, I’m a 70-plus year-old widow working two part-time jobs.

As for a government-run health care system, you can let a government panel make end-of-life decisions for you if you like, but I’ll make those decisions with my doctor. Other countries on government-run health care systems have proven rationing and inferior care. Today, many doctors won’t even take Medicare patients because of low reimbursement. More will do that when government further reduces their income.

Consider this: if Medicare fails, it will then become the responsibility of younger family members to pay for all of the medical costs of their parents and grandparents. Are you ready for that?

One day you’ll be an elderly citizen, too, unable to get a good-paying job and concerned about medical expenses. I’ll bet you’ll be fighting for the elderly then. Why, you might even write a newspaper article about it. Sorry I won’t be here to read it.

Carole Branum
Flowery Branch
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