I am an aging Clinical Psychologist who has survived the ravages of Congenital Heart Disease for the past 50+ years. With 15 cardiac surgeries and 50+ hospitalizations behind me; I am alive today to write this letter. I would not be alive without the help of the group health insurance I used to have. Once my illness made it impossible for me to keep working, I lost my health insurance. The private companies, the darlings of the conservative movement, refuse to insure me. I am not poor enough for Medicaid and not old enough for Medicare.
My doctors and I have spoken about the precarious situation I am in; awaiting my living to reach Medicare age. If I can reach age 65, I will once again be able to have the medical care I need. Thank God we have Medicare. The aging population in our country needs the security of knowing that when we arrive at the autumn of our life, America’s safety net is still there for us. We need to know that America does care about its elderly, sick, and frail individuals. All Americans must know that the burdeon of age, with its mild to grave ailments, will be able to turn to a trusted program for help.
BUT YOU WANT TO TAKE IT AWAY. You call it support. OMG, support? Let’s get real. We are aghast at this horrific notion!!
Call it what you will: voucher/coupon/support program: it will not pay for the costs millions of Americans must rely on. This is what an ethical and moral government does for its people? It cares enough to take care of them. I am urging and begging all of you to stop thinking about this rhetorically but look at the REAL devastation that “transforming” Medicare will cause.
Forget your charts, your numbers, your budgets, look at REAL people, go into nursing homes, go into the hospitals, go into places where sick people are. Look at your own families with devastating illness, look this in the face, PLEASE, and realize what this will actually look like, not in a 100 page document, but in REAL LIFE – in your city.
You want to give an average of $11,000 (give or take here and there) so seniors with pre-existing conditions ) can go onto the private market to buy health insurance? Nobody reaches age 65 without SOMETHING! Virtually anyone this age will have some kind of pre-existing condition, because this is what happens to human beings as they grow older. Given this, it means that people like you and me, your parents, your grandparents, aunts, and uncles will be without any kind of healthcare program. Do you seriously believe that the major corporations, who are in the business for profit are going to provide full health insurance to older Americans with pre-existing conditions with the same full benefit and affordable price as they are providing to 30 year olds? Are you living on the same planet that I am?
I can’t buy health insurance now – nobody will sell it to me, because I am pre-existed OUT OF THIS WORLD. Why do you think that private insurers are going to start selling insurance to seniors with pre-existing conditions at a rate that is affordable? Do you know that Blue Cross and Humana now offer private insurance to YOUNG people with congenital heart defects for $2,000 a month, with a guarantee of only 1 year of coverage? That is $24,000 a year with the knowledge that the plan will be terminated at the end of the year. House of Representatives, where did you get your data?. It is incredibly far from what is happening here in the real world. The world that exists far from your charts and massive documents (how much did those cost the GPO to print?)
Paul Ryan’s plan will surely cause the early death of millions of Americans who will no longer be able to get the care they need. This is not drama – the research already indicates that people without full insurance coverage are dying early. How will Paul Ryan’s support pay for heart surgery, kidney dialysis, cancer treatment, coma patients on life-support, etc?
Furthermore, Americans are satisfied with the current Medicare program. They are NOT complaining.
It is your job to represent what the people want, not what you personally believe is necessary. Your jobs, as our representatives are to act upon what we believe in and want. The American public has told you not to dump Medicare, not to change it, leave it as it is. That is not hard to understand. It is very simple to see. This is why people all over the country are outraged. It would outrage you, if you were 54 and sick with cancer, neuormuscular disease, kidney disease, heart and lung disorder, diabetes, or any other illness requiring ongoing care.
We, as Americans, do not want to die or go broke because you are taking away the life-net from us. We don’t want to go back to the 1940′s. That was a time when people died early because they couldn’t afford medical care, went to the poor house, debtor’s prison, etc. Do you remember – do you know? Is this the future America you want? Rather than progress, the House of Representatives is working hard to take us back to the past.
Speaker Boehner and House of Representatives, please listen to the voice of the majority of Americans, particularly those of us who struggle with chronic and devastating illnesses. We are in the millions.
The U.S. has always been a country that is compassionate and cares about the elderly – throwing us in the garbage just because we are over 55 is reprehensible. Your plan will prohibit individuals that are not wealthy or well from having appropriate medical care. Your plan doesn’t even take into consideration that even the healthiest citizens living into their 80′s will be affected by Alzheimer’s Disease or other form of dementia. Your plan tells these citizens that they are to go out on the private market to negotiate a plan with a private insurer – an outrageous concept. WHAT ARE YOU THINKING?
Paul Ryan’s plan is the worst thing that could happen to this country.
Think about your own family, what will happen to them if they get sick in the future with a devastating illness – cancer treatment, heart surgery,kidney diseases, and neurological disorders costs hundreds of thousands of dollars to treat. Without care, Alzheimer’s and other dementia patients will end up wandering the streets and subsequently dying early due to lack of appropriate care.
You know that the private insurers, such as Blue Cross/Humana/United Health Care/Coventry/Aetna will not cover pre-existing conditions. You know that they terminate policies with 30-90 days notice, you know that they refuse payment for many technically driven issues. This is the America you want. Leaving older and sick Americans vulnerable and defenseless, against BIG CORPORATE AMERICA. Is this the America you desire? This makes us a great nation? I think not. From my perspective, a great nation takes care of the elderly, not treat them like ticks and roaches. Rather, you seek to line the pockets of corporate millionaires. It’s almost impossible for me to believe this is what my House of Representatives wants. It’s a bad dream – a nightmare – a horror movie. It cannot possibly be real.
Unfortunately, the House has become so full of arrogant and callous individuals, they have chosen this plan. It’s a wonder that we have yet to see uprisings in the streets – but we will, in time.
Sadly, this will be written in the history books, however it goes. Terrible commentary on how much you value your fellow Americans.
I ask you, to please embrace your fellow Americans. Take care of them. We need to be good to each other, even when there are financial difficulties. What good is promoting longevity in this country, if,tax breaks to corporations are more important than helping and saving human life?
Life is more important than money – sometimes we must tell the wealthy they have to accept less profit, so we can take care of a 65-year-old woman struggling with congestive heart failure or a 70-year-old kidney failure patient. This could be your mother, your sister, your brother, it could be you if you were not in Congress. It is the ethical and moral thing to do. It is THE American thing to do.
P.S. Please don’t insult me by suggesting that “you just don’t understand”. I do understand, I am a doctor and a nurse and a patient. I understand very well. Thank you.