Pondering Medicare’s future

To the Editor:

My name is Judy Gmach and I am very worried about the future of Medicare.

Many rumors as to the viability of the current system have been published, and I would like to share the correct data per the AARP website.

More than 1 million Wisconsinites depend on Medicare for their healthcare. That is 17 percent of the state’s population.

Approximately 85 percent of Medicare recipients are over the age of 65.

A total of 30 percent of Medicare recipients in Wisconsin have two or three chronic health conditions, 19 percent had four or five and and 12 percent had six or more.

Under premium support, people with limited financial resources would be forced to enroll in less expensive plans with limited coverage and high deductibles.

In 2013, we had 178,000 people dually enrolled in Medicare and Medicaid. Since the median income for Wisconsinites 65 and older in 2015 was $22,000, I can visualize the number of dual enrollees increasing tremendously.

When those people don’t have coverage they go to the emergency room for all needs and you and I pay for them.

For more than half a century, Medicare has delivered on its promise, bringing health care to seniors who were once shut out of the system.

Yes, health care costs must be contained – but in a fair and responsible way, not by harming hard-working Americans and retirees. President Trump understands this vital principle, and we urge him to remind those in Congress who do not.

Rising healthcare costs are a problem for Americans of all ages and political views.

It needs to be tackled by both parties, but responsibly.

Judy Gmach

Sheboygan


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